Fast Food Grace, Love Like a River, and Humility in Our Tied Up Hearts

Its been a little while. A lot has happened since I last posted. I don’t know exactly what I’m going to write about in this post but here I go, typing away. Maybe this is a sort of update. Probably I’ll end up running down a rabbit-trail and decide to stay there. What is life without rabbit-trails?
One of my current favorite songs is Let You Go by United Pursuit (feat. Will Reagan). Listen to it. Seriously. The whole album is amazingly written, recorded, and will completely entrance you if you let it. It’s a fantastically relatable collection of songs and none of them lean on “feel good-God loves me-I’m gonna be okay” mentality. It’s real and raw and a representation of God in all His realness and rawness.
Some of the lyrics in Let You Go are,

We have sought the truth when we’ve felt the pain

Even wandered beyond our faith in the name

We cannot pretend we are always ok

We cannot depend on fast food grace.

I realized how often I hand out fast food grace and also how much I expect only fast food grace. It’s the kind of grace that says, “Yeah that’s okay, you screwed up, try again.” This comes with a side of lost trust, a pang of hurt, and sometimes a touch of do-gooder. It’s not the kind of grace that says, “Yeah you messed up but I’m not looking at that, I’m looking at your heart.” This kind of grace is unconditional, unconventional, and does not see a deliberate mistake as from you but as to you.

You are molded by the life you live. Your plans, completed or changed, chisel at your personality and heart. The words, powerful in all their subtlety, said by those who affect you, can rub you the wrong way or smooth your ruffled feathers. The unexpectedness of life shapes you in intricate detail. This is all because we are perfectly designed to be unique in person and humbled by Creator. It’s the beauty of humanity. So mistakes and wrong choices are not a reflection of you but of what is surrounding and holding your heart.

This is not to say that every mistake is innocent. And it doesn’t shift blame from your shoulders or make you unresponsible for the things you do. It is just a different mentality than we are typically used to. It means looking at the heart when someone hurts you, not at the wound caused by them as a reflection of their person. People are never wounds.

Fast food grace is short-lived, un-nutritious, and leaves you wanting. Real grace is loving. Sometimes loving means not tolerating. Sometimes loving means trusting when it’s hard to. Sometimes loving means, “How are you?” Sometimes it means space. Loving is relationship with the One who created loving. It’s not a code to be cracked because love acts as a swiftly moving river. There will always be a steady current. But sometimes it falls heavy and powerfully. Other times it moves slowly and peacefully.

Love is patient.
Love is kind.
It does not envy.
It does not boast.
It isn’t proud.
It does not dishonor others.
It is not self-seeking.
It keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Nowhere does God say love is fragile or timid or “give what you get”. Love is extravagant and personable and trusting and strong. Love isn’t easy. But it’s natural. Humans were not made for easy.

   Another song from United Pursuit that I am enjoying is Looking for a Savior. I had a hard time choosing a portion of lyrics from this song, so just go listen to the whole thing. Here are the first verse and chorus,

I abandon my addiction to the certainty of life
and my need to know everything.
This illusion cannot speak, it cannot walk with me at night
as I taste life’s fragility

I am looking for a savior I can see and know and touch,
one who dwells within the midst of us.
May a broken God be known within the earth beneath our feet,
let our souls behold humility

In the last season of my life (I feel like I am transitioning into a new one), I learned that life doesn’t go as planned probably more than it follows what you concocted to fit you perfectly. Certainty in a fallen world is a difficult thing. Certainty in God is easy as pie.  Life and the plans placed within it are fragile and unpredictable. We learn this as we grow and often it is one of those lessons we learn multiple times throughout our life. So we collapse with our crumbling plans and search for a savior to pull us out of it. The kind of savior who is tangible and real and raw. One that breaks when we break because he knows the incredible weight and emotion that we go through.

   In that we find humility, knowing that our savior, Creator of heaven and earth, of birds, stars, music, and emotions, knows our hearts so well that when ours break His breaks too. What a wonderous thing to think that God has personally tied His heart to yours. He feels every stab and every laugh. In that place of simply knowing, we find a connection to our Creator so unbreakable, a bond so indestructible, that no broken plan, heart, or dream can loose those strings.

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