GodReflection: Is Grace Still Amazing?
The Holy draws our gaze toward footprints. That is the way he wired us.
Dinosaur prints left in stone ignite curiosity of a monstrous creature who walked planet earth prior to spoken or written history. Museums display footprints from man’s historic moonwalks.
Almost forgotten emotions of fear, excitement, and imagination pumped through the mind of shipwrecked Robinson Crusoe when one morning on the beach after years of island isolation, he discovers one lone human footprint visible in the sand.
There is an image in my mind; one I have seen from magazine photographs. It is picture of a small child as they stretch—yet fall short—to place little feet in the enormous footprints and long stride of their dad who leads ahead.
Is not this the picture painted by the Gospels and the New Testament Letters of our walk in the steps of the Holy? Father, Son, and Spirit empower us to share Divine Grace with our family, friends, and neighbors by our fable attempt to walk in the Grace Prints of Jesus.
Jesus’ Grace Prints left the distinctive imprint of generosity and forgiveness. Generosity came simultaneous with his presence. At every encounter of curious or open hearts Jesus gushed generosity direct from Father God.
Just as prevalent was his flow of forgiveness. When he meets people, they gravitate to him. He first offers the grace of forgiveness, then gifts them with the cure they requested. His footprint of forgiveness was deeper than our expectations when at the crucifixion he lavished forgiveness on all, including everyone who participated in the cruelties of his death.
Surely the apostle Simon Peter felt the call of footprint imagery when he penned: But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God.To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.
“He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.” When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly (1 Peter 2:20-23).
The fisherman—now apostle—speaks from his failures. He encourages us in the spirit of children to stretch, even though we fall short. His challenge is for us to join him behind Jesus’ large prints as we adopt the grace of his walk with generosity and forgiveness.
This past year the Lord’s Prayer resonated with me more than it has in the previous seven-decades. Luke tells us: One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”
Jesus then lays out his model prayer: “Father, hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation” (Luke 11: 1-4).
Is not this a model of the walk of Jesus—generosity and forgiveness?
As light begins to dawn on generosity of our Holy Creator and as we learn to pray that his kingdom rule be present in our lives and in the life of each person who walks planet earth, is that not an expression of our desire to walk in the Jesus’ Grace Prints of generosity and forgiveness?
When we request our daily bread, isn’t it the recognition that only by his generosity can we be sustained with the bread of life? That bread comes from our walk with Jesus.
And when we pray forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us; once again, is not that the vision of a child who desires to extend the footprints of short legs toward Jesus’ Grace Prints of generosity and forgiveness?
It is a big prayer. A prayer that stretches to fill huge footprints. But I suspect The Holy sneaks a glimpse over his shoulder and smiles in gracious contentment.
Let’s make it our aim to keep our eyes on generous and forgiving prints as we follow the one who makes them. It is the only way to walk, don’t you think?
Dr. Gary J. Sorrells
A GodReflection on Grace Prints of Jesus: Generosity and Forgiveness