Yesterday I experienced a wonderful moment of grace, reminiscent of the Harrison Ford movie “Concerning Henry.” I don’t know if you have ever seen that: A powerful, hard-nosed lawyer gets shot in the head during a robbery, and his entire personality changes.
Before his being shot, if anyone around him made a mistake, he would attack and berate them. When his young daughter spilled her juice at breakfast, he chewed her out for being stupid and incompetent. However, after coming home from the hospital, when his daughter again spilled her juice and cringed, waiting for the stream of verbal abuse, Henry reached out and knocked over his own glass, saying, “We all make mistakes. See, sometimes I spill my juice, too!” Grace, compassion and empathy in action.
Before my wife and I sat down to play scrabble and she brought us each a drink to enjoy during the game. As we began to play, I reached for the bag of letters and inadvertently (with my lack of depth perception) hit my glass–but was able to grab it before it fell over. However, in catching it, I caused the red contents to marvelously slosh out over everything on the table: papers, books, the scrabble game and the beautiful white table cloth that my wife had hand embroidered in her youth!
Her immediate response, without any hesitation, was, “That’s ok. It’s not a problem. Let’s take everything off the table and clean up.” Not a hint of impatience or anger or negativeness. Not a thought about the table cloth being ruined. In my thoughts, I had already started berating myself for my clumsiness, but her grace stopped me cold. It was a wonderfully sweet experience to have such grace, such forgiveness flow into my life! I am so glad to have such a kind wife. It makes me love her more!
If she had reacted with impatience, condemning words and a negative attitude, I could have processed it, forgiven myself and moved on. But her gracious, loving, forgiving response made it so much more of a wonderful experience, a foretaste of heaven. I was and am deeply thankful. It has taken us a while to get here, but here, by the Lord’s gracious transforming work, we are, enjoying the flow of His grace!