Does Grace Demand A Response?

GodReflection: Is Grace Still Amazing?

An alternative title to this post could be, Can I Make God Cry? Does Grace Demand A Response?

The fact that I am human limits my ability to understand fully Creator God. How can something the Creator makes from dirt come close to comprehension of The Holy? Here is my best shot for the day.

How do you feel when you receive a genuine “thank you,” from a child, a spouse, or a friend, that results from a gift or kindness you gave from your heart? Don’t we warm just a bit with a sense of appreciation?

James, the brother of Jesus, tells us all goodness comes from God. The Holy graces me in multiple ways. He graces me through creation and with good that comes through the sacrificial gift of the resurrected Jesus.

Not only does he grace me through his followers, but he graces me through government actions, and by his created children who fail to acknowledge him as the one and only Holy Creator.

Munira, a young Afghanistan immigrant helps me checkout at our local supermarket. She smiles, assist me, and inquires after the health of my wife. Her anxiously anticipated greeting graces my day.

Rehana, from Saudi Arabia, stands at the end of the counter with a discrete smile ready to bag my purchases.  As a follower of the Muslim religion, she wears a long dress and the hijab that covers her hair and her neck. Gladly, she accompanies me to the car, visits in her broken English as best she can, and loads the bags in place. God has graced my day through her.

As I interact with these new residents in our community, I want my facial expression, my own smile, and the words I say, my spoken inquiries about their countries and families, to reflect appreciation for the grace the two shared with me. Their grace offered to me triggers a response from within.

I remember occasions when we received an unexpected gift that made our life significantly easier due to someone’s thoughtfulness and generosity. On those occasion we feel inadequate to express fully the depth of our appreciation—but we still attempt to find the right words and/or actions.

Most likely, in my own life I could write an ongoing Blog series were I to describe unexpected acts of grace toward our family. Let me share one of many that stand out.

No one is exempt from the struggles that come with the time spent during our walk across planet earth. We all need to give and receive grace. There was a time in our younger years when our family was faced with what seemed to be unbearable medical issues and exorbitant expenses due to a rare medical condition of a child.

I don’t remember if it was a card, a note, or a phone call, but totally and completely unexpected a couple from a distant city graced us with a gift that served to level our playing field. In an instant the weight of medical debt evaporated.

Many who read this Blog have been in a similar position. Perhaps the challenge was not medical but whatever it was, I would guess it was total consumption. Such items have the tendency to move the stress needle to the red zone.

Our hearts could do nothing else but to respond over and again. No doubt about it. God grace us through this wonderful couple. Their grace to us triggered a responses from within.

Everything that I have described to this point flowed freely from generous hearts. Each was gifted to us from the Holy. As humans wired from the DNA of a Holy God we are programed to respond to each gift of grace.

True, the response can be gratitude or rejection which could include a careless attitude, but that too is a response. When our response is negative the giver hurts.

I do not know if God can cry or not.

However, I believe it to be a fair assumption when one looks at the human track record of rejection and faithlessness in the light of God’s grace—generously poured out beyond human comprehension—I cannot imagine how the Holy can refrain from a good cry over such deep hurt.

Shouldn’t we all try to be more generous with our response?

Stay tuned.

Dr. Gary J. Sorrells

A GodReflection on Does Grace Demand A Response?

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