meditation 3b: seventeen

31 May

meditation 3b: seventeen

I had Barbara by the throat. She had just said “I love you.”

I spoke.

Never say that to me again.

I let go.

I had to get out of the apartment. Leaving, tearful, I got in our car and drove. The transmission was done by the time I returned.

After seven years of marriage, good jobs, successful returns to school, Barbara had told me she loved someone else. I was alone. But God reached for me that moment. Her Youth Pastor, who attended our wedding as a guest, jumped to my mind. Keith was someone she trusted, knew and spoke well of and often. He had returned to the city to pastor a Baptist church in Brooklyn. We called, made an appointment to see him and spent a year in weekly counselling with him.

It didn’t work. And if it couldn’t work with him, it couldn’t work. Keith never took a dime. He followed through in ways I still cannot understand or believe.

After we ended, I heard Keith preach a Good Friday sermon on Bonheoffer’s idea of Cheap grace and Costly grace. I committed all my pain, sin, anger, hopes and tears to this grace. I have never looked back.

Recently an older woman shared her thoughts on grace with me. She said, “God’s redemption at Christ’s expense.”

That’s what I cost. And I have to earn nothing of that back. It’s for Barbara too.

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