Today our home makeover family returns. A week ago their charred timbers stood silent as the roaring equipment took swipes to level it to the ground. Now a house three times the size stands in its place - beautiful, clean and safe. People walk through each decorated room with jaws open, oohing and ahhing.
And then the question always comes in some form or another . . . "Do they deserve all this?"
The answer is "no".
This family has done nothing to earn the hundreds of volunteer hours or thousands and thousands of dollars in donations to plan, frame, build, floor and decorate this new home. They have done no acts of heroism, no great achievement, no historical discovery . . . they are just sweet simple people.
And they did nothing to merit their 9 year old daughter Samantha dying of H1N1 last fall. They did nothing to deserve a fire two months late that destroyed their safety, their memories, and their stability. They didn't deserve any of that.
That's where grace steps in. Grace is the healer that wraps it's arms around those in undeserved pain - and even "deserved" pain - and whispers the words "Be whole". Grace is the kindness, the unexpected support, the cheering on your side when all is lost. Grace is the movement to restoration, the smile of understanding, the compassionate listening. Grace is what makes the difference for all things deserved and undeserved.
God at the end of my life may I come to a great mansion with you. A home I do not deserve, but a place of hope and rest forever.
May I have grace to cover me, both my undeserved pain and my deserved - thank you God for being so big, so kind, so loving, that you have grace big enough to cover it all. Even when I do not deserve . . .