"Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God." (Hebrews 12:15, NLT)
I'm being challenged much lately by the book I'm using for our Sunday School class. In Vanishing Grace, Philip Yancey writes extensively about how today's church needs to face the task before us, the task of being "grace givers". During the course of the book, he calls out three major categories into which we fall (though some of us hit more than one): Pilgrims, Activists and Artists. Today, we started the chapter on Artists, but all three keep ringing in my mind and heart. All three are a reflection of who God is and how he moves within us.
God is the original Pilgrim. He travels into his creation, most specifically in the person of our Diving Brother Jesus, and invites us to journey with him. If you've read this blog at all you know that's a theme I whole-heartedly embrace.
God is an Activist in the purest sense of the word. He is constantly acting out of his magnificent love and invites us to act as well, most specifically reaching into the world we inhabit to touch lives both now and for eternity.
God is most definitely an Artist. He is creative to the core and in making us, his most beloved creation, he invites us to participate in some fashion with him. We are bid come and work beside him, to watch what he will make out of us, with us and through us.
That all brings me to the thoughts today and my selected title. Whatever my "calling" among these three tasks, I often feel inadequate and insufficient. My journey feels more like I'm wandering. I see things around me but the depth of problems and my limited abilities seem to fuel my apathy. I don't feel very creative or talented and, when I compare what I do to others' gifts, I fall flat and so far short. I have a hard time understanding where I fit as a "grace giver".
But I am one. Maybe I'm just dropping pebbles in a pond, but so are others. And those pebbles, small as they might seem, cause rings and ripples to flow outward. They intersect with the ripples of others and, when joined together even without knowing it, we have a much larger impact. We don't make this journey alone - we are a community and a far greater one than we ever imagine.
I am a Pilgrim on this Crooked Path. As I journey, I am called to be an Activist - to act out where I see a need and meet the most basic of human needs when I can. I am a partner with the Creator Artist and, at minimum, am invited to paint with him on the canvas of my own life. The ripples of the pebbles I drop will reach outward. My job, is to keep dropping them in my own pond. That's how all of us give God's grace to others, so don't miss your opportunities when they come.