Grace’s Greatest Offender

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When I pulled up to the event where I was to tell my story and point listeners toward grace, the first person I saw was a friend that had stumped me. Her life had spun out of control, and I was one of the ones she had reached to, and I hadn’t helped her one little bit, no matter my effort.

Before our panel, I sat in the audience listening to Mike Foster, tears already running down. I am no good at grace. I’ve acted to my friend like I had answers, but when it came down to it, all I had were anecdotes. Anecdotes feel like a lie when people are holding on to the ledge.

I was able, because of her, to tell my story better. I called myself Grace’s greatest offender. I called myself “the church,” the one many of us try so hard to call to account here online (without anyone calling us to account in return.)

Afterward she hugged me and called my story “child’s play.” And it was the first time I just flat-out said that I didn’t know what to do with her. We laughed good. It was honest. She said, “and that’s where grace comes in for me.”

I hadn’t looked my friend in her true eyes in a long time, and finally I was seeing her, and she was seeing me. Jesus there, in both.


Audio: Present in the City Grace:  Panel Discussion with Mike Foster, Amber Haines, Mark Schatzman, Mike Rusch

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Reply March 20, 2012

That is so cool. I know just how you feel, but I've found that if we have figured out that we don't have a clue how to solve a problem. We are closer to leaning on Jesus and letting Him help us.

Matthew Shedd
Reply March 20, 2012

Too often have I been the one who has failed to reach out and offer that grace. Thanks for reminding me of the joy found when we do give grace!

Brandee Shafer
Reply March 20, 2012

I am glad to read this update. I really was praying.

Reply March 20, 2012

You are true.

Reply March 20, 2012

Thanks for writing these words...we don't know what to do with one another, none of us really do...and that's cool.

Addie Zierman
Reply March 20, 2012

The part about calling yourself "the church" has really stuck with me today. I needed to hear it. You are lovely. Thank you.

Amy @ themessymiddle
Reply March 20, 2012

Oh how tempting to hide those times we don't offer grace out of ... shame, embarassment, sadness. Good to be reminded to still offer it (even if it feels like so little). It is -- enough (

Reply March 21, 2012

this so nice and I like it.
thanks that you sheared this.
great job.

Reply March 21, 2012

i love this and the honesty it contains. i think we could all use a bit more of it. and i love the honesty and grace of your friend.
thanks for being vulnerable and sharing.

Caroline Starr Rose
Reply March 21, 2012

Thank you for the "calling us to account in return" comment. I know the church is flawed up, down, and all around. Believe me, I know. But we are still the Bride of Christ and what God somehow uses for His glory. I don't always get it, but I also don't want to down the Church (though sometimes I feel I have plenty of ammunition to do so).

Reply March 22, 2012

Thanks for this info.. I really appreciate the value of this post.. keep up the great work!

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