Learning from God’s Unconditional Love
“My message, unchanged for more than fifty years, is this: God loves you unconditionally, as you are and not as you should be, because nobody is as they should be. It is the message of grace…a grace that pays the eager beaver who works all day long the same wages as the grinning drunk who shows up at ten till five…a grace that hikes up the robe and runs breakneck toward the prodigal reeking of sin and wraps him up and decides to throw a party, no ifs, ands, or buts…. This grace is indiscriminate compassion. It works without asking anything…of us…. Grace is sufficient even though we huff and puff with all our might to try to find something or someone it cannot cover. Grace is enough…Jesus is enough.”
― Brennan Manning, All Is Grace: A Ragamuffin Memoir
God’s grace is certainly not of this world. During this election season, all we hear on television is how wrong or how bad each side is. Anything and anyone is fair game. Franklin Graham posted an article by Colby Itkowitz from WashingtonPost.com who wrote: “People are so stressed by this election that the American Psychological Association has coping tips.” In addition to the election, people are worried about the anger and fallout after the election results are in. In such an environment, we must remember all the anger and meanness of the world means nothing in comparison to the love and grace of God. It is hard to imagine how peaceful our world would be if we all tried to live with a little more love, respect, and understanding for our fellow human beings.
This reminds me of the story in the book of Matthew when the disciples are fearful due to a storm that is tossing their boat and the crashing waves that are threatening their very existence. What is Jesus doing? He is peacefully sleeping! After the disciples wake him and he calms the storm, Jesus says, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” (Mark 4:40). We must ask ourselves this question today. If we truly believe God’s love is boundless, perhaps we can calm down about the things in life that we find so difficult. If we can do this, even a bit, we will be more able to show love and understanding to the people around us, even if they think differently than we do!