So, this writing every day thing is getting to be a mixed up bowl of blessings. It's a good exercise, but truthfully, I don't always feel like writing. However, I promised God I would, and as my mom loved to say, "Patrish, the road to hell is paved with good intentions." (Imagine it being said in a southern accent, coolots, and a polo reading, Cox's Hallmark Bazaar.)
So, if I don't want to help on paving the road directly to the devil, I must keep up my promise. But seriously.
The only thing striking me today spiritually is my gratefulness for Jesus. For what His life and death means for Christians. It means we get a God that is all powerful, and yet like no other God among our world religions. He extends grace. (I didn't think this up on my own. It's in a book called What's So Amazing About Grace by Philip Yancey.) In the past couple of weeks I have been reminded that in my little bubble called the bible belt, I am usually sheltered from outside religions. While my shelter provides me a safe haven, there can be times when this is not a good thing, in my opinion. The more educated we become of what's outside our immediate surroundings, I believe the more aware we become of our differences and similarities. These experiences make us more compassionate and understanding, they give each culture new richness, and I also believe we become more appreciative when we arrive back home.
My son, Key, has a precious friend I will name Fred (just keepin' the real name private, being that he's not my child) that I absolutely adore. Key keeps telling me Fred is not perfect, but I beg to differ. He really is just precious. Seriously. Tall, skinny, preppy with glasses, gangly legs and arms, good manners, and smart. He also has the same eight year old boy humor as my son which I personally find hilarious. And Fred - dear child - is Hindu. He's been a wonderful addition to my son's experience with the world outside of South Carolina. Fred goes to spend summers in India with his grandparents, and they come here to visit for long periods of time. And Key gets swept up with them as if he is one of their own. He loves it. So one day on the way to church, Key says to us, "Dad, Fred had to be good in school all week. He couldn't get any marks because he has to go to temple, and the gods will be angry if he gets marks in school." I think my heart stopped for a second. And in that moment, I wanted Fred in our car so I could sweep him up and tell him he's just a boy. It's okay to mess up. It's one of the big ways we learn. I know Fred's parents well, and they are gentle, kind people. But the gods that keep a checklist are a part of their culture. So my husband talked with Key about how Jesus would feel if Key got a mark at school. We talked about Jesus forgiving us when we mess up. About how Jesus doesn't keep a checklist. All I could think was how I want Fred to know he's loved - no matter what - and how thankful I am that I know about a different God and His unending grace.
Grace, mercy, and peace will be with us from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father's Son, in truth and love.
2 John 3