On a recent trip to visit my parents, I had two unexpected encounters with grace. My dad picked me up at the airport, and on the ride home when we were stopped at a red light, I saw a black lady in the car in front of us giving money to a homeless white man.
An hour or so later, we were in my parents’ kitchen eating an especially sweet and juicy watermelon and my dad told me the story of how he got it. At Costco, he had been looking all around for the watermelons when he saw that a black lady had two big ones in her cart. Dad asked her where she got them, and she replied that they were in the back of the store. She insisted it was too far for him to walk and that he should take one of hers because she was an expert at picking the best watermelons!
“She was right,” I remarked as the juice ran down my arm. It was the best watermelon I’d had in years.
If you just watched the news and listened to all the garbage about how we’re a racist society, you would miss those moments of grace that are so common but so overlooked.
Sometimes, when I deal with Critical Race Theory at work or I see a white teacher who feels sorry for being white, I get the feeling America has an autoimmune disorder. It’s like our body is attacking itself. Our immune system appears to have gone haywire trying to rectify injustices, like racism, by creating auto-antibodies, like CRT and BLM, that attack anything foreign to newly redefined ideas of fairness and decency.
Autoimmune diseases can be treated with anti-inflammatory drugs. If we want to stop the swelling of our hypercritical society, we need liberal doses of grace like I was shown by the woman helping out the homeless man and the woman giving my dad a good watermelon.
Grace in the Christian context means “unmerited favor of God toward man.” In other words, God loves us not because we earned it, but because He loves us. And God does not love us because we are worthy. We are worthy because He loves us. There is nothing we need to do to earn his love. It is a free gift. He gives grace freely to everyone.
Even if you don’t believe in God, grace is still critical. Instead of thinking others are racists, just give grace. Think of how much better the world would be if we all decided to play doctor and administer at least 5 grams of grace to each other every day.
Grace has wonderful anti-inflammatory properties. We need it now more than ever to counter the inflammatory culture of our day. We are not each others’ enemies. Let’s be gracious to each other and fight our real enemy by loving each other.