When Grace isn’t Grace

Last week Will (a fellow “Cabal” member) wrote a great piece on our site. We’ve been writing pieces that relate a common cultural story (a myth, movie or common theme in our lives) to some element of the Gospel; he chose Comcast’s crappy service as his story to riff on.

While the connection to that particular story is fleeting, I was struck by this analysis of forgiveness and grace in marriage:

True grace is rarely practiced in human relationships.  If I’m honest, when I do something wrong in my marriage, deep down I think I deserve forgiveness…

[My wife will] admit that her forgiveness of me is based on our past relationship and experiences.  And the same is true when I forgive her, it’s largely based on her past forgiveness of me and my anticipated need for future forgiveness… The “grace” we give each other really isn’t grace at all.

Wow. It’s so true, I definitely see this as the case in my own heart when I forgive Carrie for something (which is rare due to her near-perfection).

I’d suggest that you go read his post.

Looking Forward, Looking Back

Today starts my second week in my cubicle.

I’m working at Campus Crusade for Christ’s headquarters in Orlando, FL. The position may only be for a year (10 months, really), but we’ve really moved and it’s a real change and challenge for my wife and I.

We’ve developed friends here already, but (so far) they’re shallow (as in “not deep”). I enjoy the team that I’m working on and really believe that it’s will be a good fit – there’s sufficient freedom to work as well as a decent amount of structure to help me know what my job really is. The members of my team (I’m working in the US Communications group and working on web publishing) are fun and the right kind of dissimilar to make it a lot of fun.

We miss friends from DC and from our neighborhood in Arlington. A lot.

Even now I’m a little teary thinking of the people who left before we did. The teammates that we worked closely with – laughed, debated and fought with.  I am tempted to want to “go back.”

I miss our small group, the friends that we’ve now had for 2 1/2 years and the ones that we met 6 months or just under a year ago. I miss my unofficial small-group men who helped to heal my heart and to rile my debating nature.

I miss the sweet Pakistani family that lived below us – mom, dad and 4 kids. I miss helping with math & social studies homework. I miss trying to explain what it means to be a good tipper and a good grownup – but in a way that doesn’t communicate that those things are what determine your value and worthiness as a person.

I miss the church that has been the perfect imperfect home for us for three years.

I’m looking forward though. To an opportunity to do church different than we usually have. To work in a job that is more defined than I’ve ever had, yet as free and open as well. I’m looking forward to new friends that we may have to let go in a year (in the normal CCC fashion).

Ultimately, I am learning to trust God with my past and my future. It will be good.