Day 24: Grace and Faith
4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
The first time I was in Buenos Aires I’d frantically grip my seat as my taxi driver swerved across lanes of traffic, horns blaring all over the place, the drivers are nutters – curses were yelled with gesticulations aplenty, it was mayhem. When I was in a car with someone from the church the pattern continued – though instead the driver would shout blessings at those who cut him up – and it always stayed with me – that principle of praying a blessing on someone who is doing your head in, cutting you up whether on the road or in life generally. I observed how my Argentine friends fought hate with quiet love. They gave a present to an enemy (usually in secret). Sending anonymous flowers is a good one. I’ve lost count of the times I visualise laying my temper at the cross. I still train my reaction to be a graceful one, sometimes silent, sometimes loud. I ask for the gift of grace. And faith. I tell myself that the person ‘cutting me up’ has been been saved by grace, too. Jesus knows that I ain’t perfect. Which is what makes His grace so outrageous. It’s crazier than South American taxi drivers.