Friday, 12 April 2013
I had never heard of this man until tonight; when I went to close down my computer and saw numerous tweets about his passing.
Always curious, a few clicks later I was sitting in the dark, moved to tears about this man's honesty in his writing. The confession of his faith and his desperate need of his Savior and His Grace.
An excerpt from his latest book is below. Normally I do not promote something or someone without doing a boatload of research, but for this passage alone I just had to share. Plus, his face . . . especially his eyes, remind me of my Dad. Also Irish, perhaps we're related somehow waaaay back?
Some have labeled my message one of "cheap grace." In my younger days, their accusations were a gauntlet thrown down, a challenge. But I'm an old man now and I don't care. My friend Mike Yaconelli used the phrase unfair grace, and I like that, but I've come across another I would like to leave with you. I believe Mike would like it; I know I do. I found it in the writings of the Episcopal priest Robert Farrar Capon. He calls it vulgar grace…
My life is a witness to vulgar grace—a grace that amazes as it offends. A grace that pays the eager beaver who works all day long the same wages as the grinning drunk who shows up at ten till five. A grace that hikes up the robe and runs breakneck toward the prodigal reeking of sin and wraps him up and decides to throw a party no ifs, ands, or buts. A grace that raises bloodshot eyes to a dying thief’s request—“Please remember me”—and assures him, “You bet!” A grace that is the pleasure of the Father, fleshed out in the carpenter Messiah, Jesus the Christ, who left His Father’s side not for heaven’s sake but for our sakes, yours and mine. This vulgar grace is indiscriminate compassion. It works without asking anything of us. It’s not cheap. It’s free, and as such will always be a banana peel for the orthodox foot and a fairy tale for the grown-up sensibility. Grace is sufficient even though we huff and puff with all our might to try to find something or someone it cannot cover. Grace is enough. He is enough. Jesus is enough.