“Let my people go” was part of last night’s lesson at Evensong. It was the request of God to Pharaoh to free the enslaved People of God.The response was not liberation, but an increase in persecution.
Freedom came eventually but at a high cost. Freedom, true freedom is costly. The Cross itself is witness to that. That’s the freedom we seek through engagement with God, but it may entail cost. We tend to want freedom sans pain. That isn’t always possible. God gives us just enough grace to bear the pain sometimes. Just enough grace to make it to the next stop. Enough. Just.
Today’s post comes from Robin Dake,
who will be joining us more regularly
in Advent at Love Blooms Bright.
They are the worst words a camp director can here: “Robin, call the police.”
They came frantically from our day camp’s on-site director as a 12-year-old boy sprinted out the door and up the hill toward the maze of roads surrounding our downtown facility. As I leaped in my car I knew why he was running. I knew that the load of family angst he brought to camp with him each day turned his head and heart into red angry outbursts and dangerous impulsive actions. My heart hurt for him, but as I pulled alongside him and ordered him into the car, I only felt anger born of fear. His mother came in tears and took him home.
That afternoon, when she came back to pick up the boy’s little sister, grace came to camp. I went to the car and leaned into the passenger side. He sat not looking at me as I said, “Your behavior today was not acceptable. However, we love you and you can come back tomorrow and try again.”
While those words came from my mouth, I felt they were not mine. Those words came from a place inside that has filed away lessons on grace and forgiveness and infinite love heard over and over on Sunday mornings and weekday afternoons and Saturday nights from friends and family and strangers alike.
They are the lessons of Lent. This is the time when God says to us, “Your behaviour is not acceptable. However, I love you and you can try again tomorrow.”
So, here’s to Lent and to Grace and to trying again tomorrow.