Monday, May 16, 2016
Monsters Under the Bed
Christians? Oh yeah, we’re the worst about it. Our churches have become spaces of structure and regulation that leave little room for messy people. Somewhere along the way religion became tangled in the expectation of doing everything perfectly and sabotaged the ability for people to be real with one another. And don’t go thinking it’s just the “religious types” either because it’s not. Us grace gospel types can fall into this same trap, talking about grace like it’s just a Theological concept instead of what (for some of us, most of the time) is the only thing that gets us out of bed in the morning.
I think we're just afraid of our own ugliness. So then it's easier for us to be enraged about the "big" issues in our world, to throw a fit over unisex bathrooms, to spew hatred over people's choices at the polls, and to mock legalistic pastors. It is much easier for us to face the monsters we see in the world than it is to face the ones under our bed.
And in neglecting to face the monsters under our beds, we effectively sabotage the great story of redemption. For it is only in the most desperate and most unmanageable of moments that we can truly see the ineffable glory of grace and its ability to conquer even the most ruthless of foes.
Maybe that's what Jesus meant when he said, "those who have been forgiven much love much." Maybe his words were not meant as qualifiers of the greatness of one's love but rather exposers of the depth of one's need.
Only when we are brave enough to come out from under the covers and meet the monsters we imagine to be formidable face to face are we able to see them whimpering and wailing under the rescuing fist of God's grace. It is inevitable that in these moments we will be brought to our knees once again in awe and wonder of a God who transcends our situation and yet is intimately aware of our pain.
We want to tame grace, to lasso it, and tie it down to the pew next to us. It bucks and jumps and lays to waste the structured box of a building we’ve placed it in like a bull in a china shop. Grace is not safe. It saves. There’s a big difference between the two. It will hazardously force you to have to face the monsters under your bed but it will also rescue you from them. I wish we would allow ourselves to be brave enough to look under our beds. Then maybe, just maybe, in being honest about the monsters under our beds we might find that the ones in the world aren’t as big as they seemed.
I hope God’s grace makes your life dangerous today.