Grace has been on my mind a lot lately. Maybe because I need it so badly on a daily basis. I feel like the prodigal daughter that runs away at the beginning of every day and has to come home to her father at the end of every night. And there He is, open arms, throwing a feast.

I am not good at giving grace to people. Sometimes when I run in the park I look at people and wonder why they don’t work harder. I think terrible things about how people should make more of an effort. If they really cared they would do more. I know, they are terrible thoughts.

Doesn’t the church do that though? Don’t we think things like “if they loved God, they would be here more/do more?” I once had someone tell me that if I really loved God as much as I say I do, I would quit smoking. I have heard Jesus’ people tell Jesus’ people that they didn’t have enough faith, or they had too much sin or they just weren’t doing enough. Sometimes, I think we forget the fact that we are all prodigal sons and daughters.

I have recently come to feel like it is time to understand that I am home, welcomed and justified by my Father’s love. And because I am home, I am called to become as grace filled as the father in the prodigal son story. It is my turn to openly love, accept and celebrate the lives of Jesus’ people.

We forget grace is free. We are too worried that people will get away with something that we don’t approve of. We don’t always except God’s justice plan, redemption or death. We find it more important that people feel our pain than receive grace. The truth is, no one is too far from becoming the prodigal once again, needing to bury our pride and head home. We are also never too far from an opportunity to become the father and give a little grace when it is undeserved. (Parable of the Lost Son)