I just watched Schindler's List this weekend...for the first time. Yes, I realize I'm over two decades behind the times. This will come as no surprise but I found the movie incredibly moving.
As I watched the horrific, unimaginable treatment of the Jews, the term grace came to mind. I was speaking with a friend last week and she referenced a circumstance in which I should grace towards someone that has repeatedly wronged me. The details of the situation are not important but the idea of grace should not be lost.
(Just to clarify I'm equally in the wrong more times than I would ever describe in my blog. Please don't let a few examples of the times I've shown grace towards others paint a picture perfect Ashley for you. FAR FROM IT.)
People do wrong...it's the ugliness of our human nature but still we are called to show forgiveness and love regardless of the wrongs against us. There have been several periods in my life where I felt God particularly calling me to share grace with others and unfortunately when God calls you to do this it usually means people are going to wrong you. And you may feel lost and broken. However, I have found a tremendous amount of healing through grace. I find the act of forgiveness often sets you free from the pain.
However, as I watched Schindler's List I wondered the limits of my grace. If I had been a Jew in Poland or Germany during the World War II time period and had been treated as Jews were treated...would I be able to have grace towards the Nazi soldiers persecuting me? Honestly, I don't know if my grace extends that far. I can't imagine grace that big.
And yet this is the beauty of Christ. His grace is THAT big. On Easter Sunday our church pastor made an incredible comparison to describe Christ's love, forgiveness and grace through His death on the cross. The pastor referenced those commercials on tv where if you give $ 0.31 a day to provide water, food and shelter to a small, innocent child living in poverty. He said Christ's death on the cross was so applicable and free to every single person...it would be like if you replaced the small innocent child in that commercial with a member of ISIS. He asked how many people in the church would give $ 0.31 a day to provide water, food and shelter for a terrorist? Would I provide for a Nazi concentration camp soldier when his or her entire mission was to wipe out a group of people chosen by God? This is how far Christ's love, forgiveness and grace extends. He doesn't care what is in your past, present or future. He loves you irregardless of your actions. He just seeks your trust and faith in him. That's His grace. It's so far and wide, it is beyond comprehension.
For no one can ever be made right in God's sight by doing what his law commands. For the more we know God's law, the clearer it becomes that we aren't obeying it. But now God has shown us a different way of being right in His sight - not by obeying the law but by the way promised in this Scriptures long ago (see Isaiah 53 for reference to "promised in the Scriptures long ago). We are made right in God's sight when we trust in Jesus Christ to take away our sins. And we all can be saved in this same way, no matter who we are or what we have done. For all have sinned; all fall short of God's glorious standard.
And for that I am thankful. I am so thankful I don't have to worry about if I have it in me to extend grace that big to others. Because if I'm too weak or angry and I fail at righteousness (and I do daily), Jesus's grace is wrap around me. And it could be wrapped around you too? Just trust it.
1993, a list and incomprehensible Grace,
Just a few reflections about everything God is teaching me in this life...a journey deeper into His purpose for my life.