Saturday, January 20, 2007

Grace unexpected, yet always amazing...

I'm not sure if this articulates my experience or the richness of my realization of grace very well, but it has been helpful to write.

Have you ever had one of those moments that so clearly exemplified the sacrifice and beauty of the cross? Have you ever been on the receiving end of someone's graciousness in a way that both shames and lifts you up in the same moment? This evening was one of those moments for me.

Tomorrow we are having our church's leadership training event. I was responsible for arranging child care. I had made arrangements, but the fell through on Wednesday night. Not sure what to do, I hesitated like a deer in the middle of the road around a curve with a mack truck bearing down. So, true to my male tendencies I procrastinate.

You see, the problem is that we have advertised "Childcare Available" for the last month and a half for this event. Actually the problem isn't that we have advertised childcare, its that there is no childcare. By this point my stomach is churning in knots due to fear of failure and fear of incurring the wrath of members of the congregation. Friday morning comes and goes, and I still know idea how to work to resolve this.

Friday afternoon sneaks up on me will I try to pretend that the childcare monkey is not really on my back (despite the fact it has been weighing me down for almost 36 hours!) In my mind I begin to start going down the list of invitees, wondering who has children. I know of a couple of families won't be able to attend due to work responsibilities. Hope flickers...maybe no children will show up. I place calls to two families I know are attending. One family can make other arrangements. The other family will wait and see how their child does Saturday morning -they may have to leave early.

The fact remains - I was responsible for child care and we have no child care. Then my saint of a wife speaks up. She says she will be the childcare. I know this is the last thing she wants to do on a Saturday morning after already spending a significant amount of time with children in her classroom. She would much rather do her own thing.

My burden -my anxiety- has now become hers. There will be childcare after all, thanks to my wife. Yet I feel shamed because she is sacrificing her time to bail my sorry hide out of a bind which is my fault because I did not deal with it quicker in the first place. Moreover, its not something she wants to do. She has picked up her cross to bear this weekend, and I am the recipient of its grace - something I don't deserve. Thank you my dear, for showing me grace and for gently pointing towards the deeper grace found in the cross of Jesus. I love you.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

You gotta read this...

... story about a nine-year old who ran away from his house in Washington state and ended up in Texas. He stole a car (NOTE: this was his third time stealing a car!), jumped on a plane to go to Texas, switched planes in Phoenix and was finally arrested in San Antonio. According to his mother, he really doesn't like Seattle.

Now, I don't condone running away, stealing cars or sneaking onto planes, but I must admit, I admire his tenacity and his creativity.