Saturday, March 23, 2013

Grace to Give

I've been thinking about my mom a lot lately. Those thoughts and musings include reflecting on how different life might have been if she were still here, the things she would have taught me, the fights we would have had, the role she would have played as a grandma, and her killer...

In March of 1984 my mom was brutally murdered in our then city of Las Vegas. I was only two years old. I never struggled with anger or bitterness toward her killer or my situation and I'm not sure why. The details weren't presented to me and it may be because I wasn't fully aware of all that had happened. I was so young at the time of her death so life without a mom was just the way it had always been. It wasn't until recent years that I learned of the extremely gruesome details. When I did finally read the unimaginable story of the tragedy it was a little shocking to me how easy it was to forgive this man.

I lived many years hurting myself and other people. Doing some unthinkable things and continuing while knowing they were wrong. I ran from God and told Him I was better off without Him and what He had to offer. I was angry, full of guilt, and failing to enjoy life as I tried to change things on my own. I didn't truly understand grace so I didn't have any to give. I lived judging everyone, while in secret I was doing the very same things and worse. I ultimately came to a place where I realized what life was like without God. It was hell. And that's where I had to get before I realized what I needed; a lot of people do. I needed grace, or what the dictionary so beautifully describes as unmerited divine assistance given by God for sanctification. And I needed forgiveness. I was desperate for a fresh start. I got all of it. Not because I hadn't done certain things or because I'm special or different. I got it because I asked and I got it because it was available for me. God gave it all for people like me and you, and for people like my mother's killer. I can live today with no anger toward her killer because I know God does the same for me. Whether or not this man has accepted the forgiveness that God has for him I'm not sure. But I know it's available to him just as much as it is for me. And I am beyond grateful I truly understand grace and I have it to give.

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