I rejoice, and I grieve, and I rejoice: the 2 sided coin of American Christianity

As you know if you are a regular reader, I love God…specifically the Holy Spirit, whom I was introduced to as the Lady Grace.  I took my new name from Her knee, Charissa (Grace), and Grace.  Grace is most simply defined as that power granted to the one who asks to do what God desires.  Period.  That covers it far better than “God’s unmerited favor”.  The greek word for grace (Charis) also translates as power.  But I digress.

If you are a regular reader, you also know how deeply I am grieved by the ugly hate and fear that emanates so powerfully from the so-called christian culture in our land.  It is harsh, exclusive, rigid, full of fear and loathing, shame-based, and ultimately is ruled by religion instead of relationship.  This is the “I grieve” part.

BUT:

There is another side of the coin…in virtually every church in our land, in some private moment, in some unguarded place, the Lady pops out, full of grace and power, and She extends Her hand of kindness, and therein sinners find supplication and succor, kindness and comfort.  These moments are unadorned, simple, pure, and they ooze mercy and overflow with open armedness.  Hate cannot enter therein, pride is swept away, and Humility is crowned Sovereign.

Oh my friends, I ache with memory of these, and tears overflow my eyes as I recall them…little down payments of heaven to come, and the goodness of God.

If you have had some of these you know what I mean, but if you haven’t…and you wonder what they are like?  Just picture the exact opposite of what it feels like when these mis-guided and fearful children of the King pout and shout and hate and hurt…picture the opposite of that sick feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when you see someone misrepresent the God they claim to serve (but they really mean the God that serves them, their “errand boy to satisfy their wandering desires”)…picture the opposite of that cold chill that drills from their hating eyes (covering up their cowardly hearts)…picture the way that you know, deep down inside, how God’s true children would act if they really WERE from their father in heaven, saved as prodigals returned…

Yeah…we all know deep down…

I exhort you, do not lose hope in the face of hate, for those unguarded moments are real, true, and someday they will rule all.

In the meantime, let love be your guide, and hope be your heart.  Let faith be your song and grace be your crown.  Let mercy be upon your lips and kindness be your clothing.  And remember, you are not alone…Lady Grace is with you always, and so am I, your sister Charissa Grace, as long as I draw breath.

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