So, you know how I am helping launch a church to bring the truth, grace and changing power of the Gospel for the glory of God and the good of all people?

Well, today, I got just a bit of that grace extended to me. Was it the grace of God? Yes. Every day I am granted much more than I know what to do with. But I am not always aware, and because of that, rarely intentionally act on what God grants me.

But today, today’s grace came from my employers. We’ll call them the Color Family. C.F. for short.

So, last week I was twenty minutes late to work. *sucks teeth* And I can’t stand being late. If there was anything I could do, I would rearrange all public transportation so that getting everywhere by full and half hour increments was the ultimate goal. Anyway, getting back on track…

I keep a journal between the Color parents and myself in order to update them on things they may need or need to know, and it stays at their home. So, last week, when I was ridiculously late, I wrote how profusely apologetic I was and that it would never happen again.

I know, right. Sounds like a good plan. Well, I was late today. Precisely 8 minutes late. I told them I would be ten minutes late, so that was a bit of leeway, but still. THE NEXT BUSINESS DAY!!!??? Really? I mean. Pa.The.Tic.

So, I had let them know that I would be late and apologized more when I arrived. I told them to penalize me for being late, because really, twice in as many days. I say it again: Pa.The.Tic.

So I’m talking to Mr. Color, and he’s already spoken with Mrs. Color, and they agree that no penalty is necessary. (I couldn’t even feel relief at this so disappointed as I was in myself.) Mr. Color explains that the family works on a system, and that, though the time isn’t necessarily important, the way that it folds into the system is. Which I understand. Kids=routine. Jacked up routine=kids unaware of what is happening next. And that, as some of you know, is not the way to begin tackling a day with 4 children, 3 of them under school age.

Mr. Color finishes his chat with me by saying that I am “released and should not let it weigh on me, that I am forgiven. There’s grace.”

Ah, there is that pesky word. Grace. I mean, it doesn’t even make sense. Grace. If you say it twenty times you forget the definition. (That happens with most words-try it sometime.)

Back to me in my self-pity, punish me, give me what I paid for, let me have it, moment.

I nearly cried. Why? Because I am still learning what grace is. They just, forgave me? No penalty? No dock in payment? No LECTURE? Free. Just like that. Huh. Maybe this grace thing isn’t so abstract after all.

At the end of the day, when Mrs. Color came home, she asked how my talk with Mr. Color had gone. I told her, told her that I nearly cried. Told her that I expect to receive what my actions warrant. Told her that it was hard for me to understand and accept what they were telling me, because it goes against my law, my experience, everything in my past. No. I do not forgive you. You get what you paid for. You get nothing from me. I extend judgement and punishment alone.

Not only when I was dealt with, but in my dealings with others.

If my forgiveness was not swift, the anger in its stead was sure to be. I knew nothing of grace.

So today caught me off guard. How in the world did I expect to bring the grace of the Gospel to a late, disorganized, pained and dark city, without understanding what it meant in time and eternity?

That’s how we represent Christ. As a non-believer, I wouldn’t really know what to do with that situation besides file it under really nice people.

But that’s how we show Him. That’s how we spread His Gospel. That is how we take this city by storm.

Learn it. Practice it. Live it.