Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Living on Grace By Jaye Lewis

When I look at my life, from the beginning to today, all I see is the grace of God. I see His strength in the midst of adversity. I see His rescue when I was in despair. I see angels of every size and description, both great and small, steadying me all the way. In spite of evil that I have witnessed, or have even suffered, I can see that there has always been a dome of protection surrounding me. I have often wondered why?

I am one of those people who ask, “Why?” You might even say that I’m a “why-ner.” In sixty-two years I have seen a lot of evil. Heck, just in the last Presidential race, I wanted to hide my head in shame, just to make up for the human race to which I belong. Racism, parading as cultural pride. Immorality paraded as honor and duty. I saw too much. There really are people who don’t want to know the God’s truth, who call themselves Christian, yet will not believe the truth before their eyes, simply because they must hang on to their prejudice and bigotry. Why?

I simply can’t answer that question. I can give you an example from my own life. I came from a family who always drew up sides. One side was “us” and the other side was “them.” Now the “us” and the “them” often changed sides. One day you’d be “us,” and the next day you’d be “them.” You never wanted to be “them.” “Them” were evil, disloyal, ungodly, and worse, until you became “them.” It was simply crazy, in every way.
Right after my second child was born, I came home to my mother’s house. Now, my mother liked to get things off of her chest, and onto someone else’s. That day, I was the victim.

My mother told me how my Aunt (one of “them”) had died during childbirth, four years before. Now, I had just had a baby, just a few days old. Never mind about that. My mother had something to get off her chest, and my mother had a deep hatred for my Aunt. However, I was deeply disturbed. I thought about the condition of my heart, and how I had nourished the hatred from my mother into something ugly within myself. You might say, I saw myself, and I didn’t like what I saw.

One morning, as I was fixing some breakfast, my mother was sitting at the kitchen table, brooding. She did a lot of brooding. I was rather pensive, myself, trying to find the right words.

“Mom,” I began, “I’ve been doing some thinking, and I’ve seen something about myself that I just don’t like.

“What’s that?” My mother asked, with little interest.

“Well, Mom, I just realized that I have spent four years hating a woman who is not even alive.” It seemed so clear to me. All of a sudden my mother pounced.


“But, Mom, she’s dead!” I tried to reason.

“NOT TO ME, SHE’S NOT! NOT TO ME!! AND I HATE HER!!! SHE DESERVED TO DIE! AND NOT A MOMENT TOO SOON!” By this time, she was screaming, and alarmingly. At that moment, I realized that I had just become “them.”

The tirade went on for hours, hatred spewing from my Mother’s every pore. And I’m certain my mother was made to suffer long ago, but that was not the point from my perspective. I was given a window into my own soul.

Seeing one’s soul, from God’s perspective is a scary experience. I knew in that moment, how to turn my Mother’s wrath away from myself. I could merely join in…but I didn’t. I kept silent, and I finally let myself see what my mother had allowed herself to become, because of real or imagined hurt. And as I saw, I saw what I could become, if I let myself.

So, I decided that as uncomfortable as it was to be “them,” in a family ruled by hatred, I would rather be “them,” than to live a life of bondage as “us.” From that day, I lived a life of great loneliness, but my relationship with God began to deepen. I suffered untold humiliation and grief. And even though I never ceased to ask the unanswerable question, “why,” I was glad that I was neither “us” nor “them,” but simply me.

With love,
Jaye Lewis

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