Monday, June 02, 2008

What's so Amazing about Grace, by Philip Yancey

Finishing up reading What's so Amazing about Grace by Philip Yancey. This has been a really good and easy read for me up until chapter 13. This chapter entitled , Grace healed eyes had really struck a chord of sadness and confusion for me. In this chapter he talks about one of the biggest eye openers for grace in his life has been his friendship with a man named Mel White. Apparently, Mel White has written a book as well, Stranger at the Gate and was a ghost writer for many famous Christian authors. 5 years into their friendship Mel confessed to Philip that he is a homosexual and that he was no longer going to live the lie or facade of being a heterosexual with a wife and 2 children. He talks about the torture he had been through trying to change this about himself and then it talks about the back lash and hatred he was embraced with after coming out of the closet.
This book was written in the 90's so things have changed some in this area but not much. It just got me thinking about so much. How we as Christians can be the meanest , most hate filled judgemental a..holes to anyone who doesn't fit into our own comfortable box of what we deem acceptable human behavior.
It angers me that we treat people the way that this man was treated. God forgive me when I have been that a..hole! I pray I show grace and more grace in the future.
In this book Philip talks about the fact that Grace is what sets apart our belief system from any other. He says we are all Bastards but God loves us anyway and that is Grace in and of itself.
Here is my favorite segment from the book ,
"My study of Jesus life convinces me that whatever barriers we must overcome in treating "different" people cannot compare to what a holy God- who dwelled in the Most Holy Place, and whose presence caused fire and smoke to belch from mountaintops, bringing death to any unclean person who wandered near- overcame when he descended to join us on planet Earth.
A prostitute, a wealthy exploiter, a demon-possessed woman, a Roman soldier, a a Samaritan with running sores and another Samaritan with serial-husbands- I marvel that Jesus gained the reputation as being a "friend of sinners" like these. As Helmut Thielicke wrote:
Jesus gained the power to love harlots, bullies, and ruffians...he was able to do this only because he saw through the filth and crust of degeneration, because his eye caught the divine original which is hidden in every way- in every man! ... First and foremost he gives us new eyes.... "

This is the Jesus I think so many of us have forgotten. He hung out with sketchy people. He was a friend to these people. He calls me friend.
This is why I love Jesus. This is why I live for Him and only Him. This is why I am willing to give up my comfortable box for a bigger box that is much more beautiful than I could ever imagine. It doesn't always make sense to me but it is always so beautiful. So amazing, Jesus grace for me. I pray I extend more and more and more grace. I pray I don't ever take the seat of judgement instead of mercy and grace.


laura said...

Is this the book you were talking about? I will definitely borrow. I also have the other book I borrowed a long, long time ago sitting here waiting to be returned. I will bring it in tomorrow:)

noel said...

yes, this is the book. it really is a good one. he jam packs so many stories of grace and then really makes you think of how much you've shown and then also how much has been given to you. so good. i will bring it sunday. what did you decide to do for your b-day?

laura said...

okay, i will try to remember your other book too on sunday... no, i haven't yet decided what to do, I have about 6 weeks to go...

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