This week I’m going to blog five days about five gifts that find their way into five dares. First, let’s talk about gifts—the real kind.
Last week my love and wife Shauna enjoyed a trip to the Dominican Republic with a close friend. Halfway through the week, she Facebooked me a message, saying, “Today is beach, beach walking, beach, looking for shells for some wonderful man i know…”
That’d be me.
And the moment I read the message, I also received the gift. What gift? The message? The shells?
No. Looking for the shells? No, not that either.
The real gift was this: While Shauna meandered down a pristine sliver of sand half a world away, I was on her mind. The gift was that a shell would catch her eye and she’d stop, bend down, and scoop it up, thinking, “Brad would love this one.” Wonderful woman that she is, she also bought me a necklace, a bracelet, some Dominican honey, stuff like that. Very cool stuff. But honestly? She had me at “looking for shells for some wonderful man i know.”
True gifts, you see, aren’t physical. They’re emotional, personal, relational, spiritual, powerful, sacrificial. Which is why the most powerful gift you could ever give anyone…
Grace big enough to embrace imperfections. Grace deep enough to swallow wounding. Grace high enough to point to Jesus. Grace wide enough to grant patience enough for each day.
It’s the most important gift we’ll ever give because it’s the most costly gift we’ll ever give. To forgive means to let go, to wipe the slate clean, to allow Jesus to come and lift the anger we feel justified nursing, to purge the bitterness and bile we’d rather nurture in the petrie dish of our soul than flush down the toilet where it belongs. Grace is leaving justice to God, recognizing that while Jesus paid for the sin between the two of them, I must absorb the cost between the offender and myself.
There is no more powerful way to ascribe dignity and worth to another human being than to extend them grace. The risk is terrifying, because grace is often refused, often abused. The moment I try to attach a string, it’s not grace. False grace creates marionettes out of the people who “owe” us for our act of forgiveness, while true grace cuts them loose, truly and completely releasing their fate to the wisdom of God.
Now for the dare.
Someone needs grace in your life… from you. Who needs it most? Deserves it the least? Needs the most work? That’s your person. Your mission. And the dare is simple. Walk deeper into Jesus, take his hand—and then unleash heaven on the one whom God has selected.
I dare you.
And tell us your story!
Tomorrow: Day #2. Gift #2. Dare #2.
You have no idea how incredible this writing is. God is using your words to touch many peoples hearts. My own included. A fractured relationship now for over a year which caused deep grief. My tears were my companion over and over and every time I went to church I left in tears. Lord God give me time and courage to do what needs to be done. Thank you for words to process and read over. You have helped me.
Oh, how wonderful! I am amazed at God’s Amazing Grace! Thank you for the challenge for today. To offer grace ‘unto the least of these.’ I’m not sure how. But my husband has already mentioned getting started with the process at breakfast. God will show us how to extend grace to this person.
I will share this blog with my husband tonight.
I’m on board!
Hey, that’s exciting. God is good.
I love the part when you said ~ Grace is leaving justice to God, etc…it is beautiful! Sometimes you need to find it in your heart….to let go of the hurt and the past. For me it is going on 9 years. I am so much better. When both people involved have hurt and tried very hard to make up for that hurt….you know it must be a God thing happening here. Your choice is to stay or walk away and give up 1/2 you life spent with your ” for better or for worse”. God has given Grace to us. He has given us hope. We are working on the love ~ that special love! We both love one another, because we are together. I guess we are working on respect too. Many years of tears and anxiety, the trust is back. We are going on 31 years, our relationship is something I could not let go of that easy! I guess he felt the same. God is our glue. Church is our refuge. I can’t wait to see what the next 31 years have in store. No one ever said marriage was easy….I find it a part-time job. What you put into the relationship is definetly what you will get out of it. Right now I am glad to say that our marriage is a gift and that God has shown us what it takes to stay strong at it! <
Wow, thanks for sharing that powerful testimony. What an inspiration to us!
Wow, I’m up past midnight and happen upon this blog… words I’m takin’ from the Father… thank you for being His vessal… I need to meditate on the ideas you’ve presented here… an answer to prayer. I’ve been asking God how to handle a situation in my life that has gone on and on and on… the answer? Grace! it’s the only way!
Glad you found me. It’s always a thrill to become an answer to prayer. Make sure to catch the rest of the series…