What They’re Going Through.


I saw this very slow car on the highway in front of me that was rusted through and ready to fall apart, and for some reason, I got overly irritated at someone driving so slow in such a beat-up car. It must have been going 40 in a 65 mph zone.

I passed and pulled up next to the car, and I got a glance of the lady inside. Suddenly I felt terrible. She was a rundown tragic mess, mascara all over, like she had just heard the worst news in the world. Her shoulders were fallen into a heap and her mouth was open and her eyes were glass and mist. She was staring into nothing.
I’ve been there. I know what that’s like. When the world is gray noise. When you’re completely numb and unable to see how it could possibly get better.

I got behind the lady again to follow her and make sure she was okay. She got off the highway safely. I thought that if other drivers were going to get mad at her, they could get mad at me first.

I thought about all the other times I had judged too quickly, how I hadn’t slowed down for the other person to see them, to ask how I could help. I had gotten it wrong a lot. I didn’t pause to get the whole story. It all changes when you know what a person is going through.

— J.S.

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Getting Back The Grace-Card

You’ve heard this: Give me back your man-card, usually after a statement like Twilight wasn’t that bad or I need a fork for these hot wings or Nothing less than 500 thread count sheets.

In hundreds of conversations with veteran pastors, new seminarians, drug addicts, ex-cons, single moms, high school drop-outs, and lonely outcasts: It’s easy to tell when someone has given away all their grace-cards.

It’s the slightly clenched inflection in their voice.

The head shaking back and forth with too much relish.

The blame, the shiny perfect version of themselves, the mocking of the other person’s voice.

The re-telling of so-called horror stories: And so he was like — And she goes — And can you believe that?

The constant demonizing, generalizing, categorizing, contempt-disguised-as-pity, the seething disgust and bitterness.

Never an insight into another’s point of view, never an empathy from another’s perspective, never even a half-sincere attempt at trying to understand upbringing, culture, wounds, and influences.

Or it’s just as simple as never mentioning the word grace.

I imagine the angels in heaven, right before Jesus was about to save the world by first heading to the earth as a baby in a manger, and all them telling him, “Don’t do this. Not for these people. They’ll ignore you, despise you, betray you, torture you, and kill you. You’ll come out of the grave and they still won’t believe you. Don’t do this, Jesus. Not for them.”

And Jesus telling the angels: “Give me back your grace-cards. Maybe you’ll get them back after you stop some car accidents or draw my face in more toast.”

Where is the grace?

Continue reading “Getting Back The Grace-Card”

Quote: Fragile


The grand difference between a human being and a supreme being is precisely this: Apart from God, I cannot exist. Apart from me, God does exist. God does not need me in order for Him to be; I do need God in order for me to be. This is the difference between what we call self-existent being and dependent being. We are dependent. We are fragile. We cannot live without air, without water, without food. No human being has the power of being within himself. Life is lived between two hospitals. We need a support system from birth to death to sustain life. We are like flowers that bloom and wither and then fade. This is how we differ from God. God does not wither, God does not fade, God is not fragile.

— R.C. Sproul


Quote: Calvary



Every time we look at the cross Christ seems to be saying to us, ‘I am here because of you. It is your sin I am bearing, your curse I am suffering, your debt I am paying, your death I am dying.’ Nothing in history or in the universe cuts us down to size like the cross. All of us have inflated views of ourselves, especially in self-righteousness, until we have visited a place called Calvary. It is there, at the foot of the cross, that we shrink to our true size.

— John Stott