Nov 4, 2014

Why grace matters

 I remember the first time I met him. It was dark and the compound had already quieted down for the evening.  He stood there clutching his teddy bear, refusing to leave his dad's side. I smiled at him and he grunted and turned his head. He knew what he wanted, and he wanted his dad and little brother.  He did NOT want the stranger who was trying to say hello to him.

Life is messy.  It just is.  And L's family was working through a lot of that mess.  The hard yucky kind of mess that leaves families struggling to find their feet.  Every family goes through it at one time or another, it looks different for each family, but it happens.

This particular situation left L's little heart broken and confused.  For the next couple of months he cried out for attention and love.  His dad worked hard to fill that need for L and his brother.  But L's little heart struggled, leaving everyone at a lose as to how to help him.

Finally we heard some wise words said to L's dad "You are a good father, keep doing what you are doing.  L just needs your love".  And that's just what he did.  Before our eyes we watched this single dad embrace his young sons in every way.  And slowly we watched the change in L.  He was calmer, happier and had more confidence.  He would follow his father around the compound helping with the chores. It was beautiful.

It was a while later that we got the news, L's mom wanted to come back.  The family could be reunited.  The dad was hopeful, he wanted to pursue the possibility. 

I'm embarrassed to say it but I wanted to yell and protest.  Things were finally calming down for this dad and the boys.  L had finally worked through some of the hurt in his heart.  What if this reunion didn't last?  What if it caused more harm than good?

I was so wrong.  Because we all make mistakes.  We have all messed up horribly.  But still, God gives us grace.  He is a God of second chances.  And it's because of that grace given to us that we can extend grace to other people.

That all became real to me the first time L cried out 'mama' and instead of responding "No baby, mama isn't here" I could say "look L, she's right over there". 

I am constantly being humbled and learning new truths.

A family united.  Grace, it matters.

"And from His fullness we have all received, grace upon grace."
John 1:16


Check out to see how they are working to keep families together in Uganda.  The above family is just one family who could have easily been ripped apart if they had not been offered the support they so desperatly needed.  
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  1. this is so beautiful, Joanna! God is good & i am so happy for the whole family. love keeping up with you a little bit on here & can't wait to hopefully hear more once you are in Uganda again:)

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