Two gifts to give the broken

gifts_of_grace

But he gives more grace.
Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud,
but gives grace to the humble.”
James 4:6

He came shattered. He had done some bad things.
He knew it. We all did.

He offered us his brokenness. Now it was our turn. What could we give?

What do you give the broken?

We took turns giving him hugs. The line was long. The crowd was diverse. Young men as peers. Little kids looking up. Gray hairs with years.

And middle-aged white women. Like me.

My turn came. I had two gifts. Certain we were looking eye to eye, I gave him,

“Two words. I want you to remember them:
          Forgiven. Loved.
Don’t forget them. You are forgiven. You are loved.”

Gifts of grace for the broken.
All of the broken.
We all need forgiveness.
We all need love.

God gives both. In abundance.
     For yesterday’s sins.
          Today’s offenses.
               Tomorrow’s transgressions.

They are gifts we receive.
They are gifts we give.

* * *

Who can you give forgiveness and love to today?

We’re talking one word at a time. This week: broken

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19 comments:

Dianna said...

Thank you, Lisa, for sharing this very special post with us. Forgiven and Loved.

denise said...

War Eagle!!!!!!!!!

Lisa notes... said...

Yes, War Eagle! Definitely a gift of grace this year. :-)

Lisa notes... said...

Dianna,
Isn't it interesting that once we name our year, that theme starts popping up everywhere? The more I think about depending on God's grace, the more I see him in action with it everywhere I look. I've enjoyed reading how your year of praise connects to so much that way as well.

Scott Couchenour said...

Excellent post with an excellent question. Makes me pause and think today.

Helen said...

forgiveness and love are tremendous gifts.

Duane Scott said...

There were lots of little, simple, yet powerful phrases in this poem/prose. Nice formatting!

Lisa notes... said...

Scott,
Yes, I have to ask the question to myself today, too...

Helen,
After reading your entry today about your mother’s forgiving and loving heart with your dad thinking he broke the bowl – wow. You saw those two gifts in action.

Duane,
Thanks. Sometimes the fewer words I use, the better. I'm reminded of your "It's too dark." Words that stick.

Barbara H. said...

Funny, I was just thinking of the word "broken" as I went to sleep last night.

We have had situations in church like that when someone confesses a wrongdoing -- our pastor's policy was that the circle of confession needs to be as wide as the circle the sin affected, so every little thing wasn't made public, but when appropriate it was. And when someone confessed his repentance publicly, Pastor always encouraged us to come and let them know of our forgiveness and prayers. Although it must have been excruciating in one sense, one father who stood with his son at such a time said it was also healing for them as a family. To know that we're forgiven and still loved -- what a tremendous blessing.

Lisa notes... said...

Barbara,
Yes, I think it would be excruciating in many ways. This young man's mother said he told her: "This is hard!" So I pray he's now experiencing the joy of God's blessings to help him through the hard parts.

jasonS said...

Such a powerful reminder. Thank you, Lisa. I'm so thankful for the gift of His grace and love. He is so good to us!

Jeanne Damoff said...

Lovely, Lisa. I can't think of better gifts.

Young Wife said...

Beautiful post. It's so true: we all need forgiveness.

katdish said...

Forgiveness is such a wonderful gift--for both the giver and the recipient. Lovely post.

Donna said...

Lisa, thank you for reminding us of what we can offer as gifts to those who are broken. Forgiveness and love have been freely given to me - those gifts I must freely give.

A Joyful Noise said...

Standing before a group of people that the person has wronged, and making a confession, begins the healing process. The acts of forgiveness that follow, assist to bring closure and relief to all. The memory may remain, but the pain is gone.

Anne Lang Bundy said...

When I considered your question, the first person who came to mind was someone of my own household. I often think of others farther away. I'm grateful that you made me ask the question, Lisa.

Lisa notes... said...

Anne,
I know what you mean. Too often when I think: who can I show grace to?—I think of somebody “out there” when often it is somebody close by that needs it and that I’m available to give it to. Thanks for your insight.

Cris Ferreira said...

Powerful poem, Lisa. Very well written. Thank you for sharing.

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