Recently I made a funny comment and used it in the title of a blog post. Honestly, I think the majority of folks probably wouldn’t have found it offensive, but to some, it was hurtful indeed. I received an email from someone, someone I have never met, who my little “funny” offended and hurt. Ironically I was busy going about my day, having not thought one more moment about my little flippant remark. When I received her email, attached to the bottom of the text was her name, place of business, and…..her phone number.
Without wasting anytime, all while feeling this horrible nauseating feeling in the pit of my stomach, I called her. I told her my name and then I said I was sorry. So very very sorry. I told her I had no excuse. I humbly asked for forgiveness.
Friends, I tell you, what happened next was so powerful to me that it left me broken and whole at the same time. She graciously, warmly & kindly, forgave me.
I began to sob. I’m sure she was thinking “who is this wacko blog writer and why does she think I can understand her and I am so taking off all my personal scoop on any future correspondence with her or anyone else for that matter” kinda thoughts.
I got home & quickly ran inside to edit my blog title. Just as quickly, I wrote a public apology on social media in hopes that no one else would feel bruised by my words. And then I saw I had a facebook friend request….from her. The woman who I had offended. She friend requested me. I naturally accepted speedy quick and said “thank you for still being my friend”.
Ya’ll …she then said she was honored to be my friend. I laid my head down on my desk and wept.
I don’t tell you this story for any other reason than to share that I learned more about mercy and grace on that day than I ever have before. While you might not have kept up with that story because I shortened a few details for the sake of a readable blog post….I hope what I communicate is the following.
Mercy is what I was given when she listened to my apology and then forgave me. Grace was what was extended when she then told me she was honored to be my friend.
I think I was so emotional because I was so humbled. You see I felt much more comfortable rolling around in my self pity feeling like a careless not-really-all-that funny kinda person. But she didn’t let me stay there. It’s as if she sat down beside me & said, It’s ok. I’m not angry. I forgive you & I’ve already erased what you did…as far as the east is from the west.
As I’ve thought over that scenario numerous times in the last few days since it occurred, I’ve realized that I long to be that person as a mom. I long to give mercy and then on top of mercy, extend grace. But ya’ll. I’m tough. I’m tough on myself. And I’m tough on my girls. I wonder if they ever think I extend grace. Probably not. Oh that I can learn to balance correction and guidance with grace. I want them to not have a visual of a meany old mom shaking her crinkled fingers and saying “I told you….”.
I want them to feel that same beautiful, humbling, almost uncomfortable and yet so amazing at the same time, feeling of grace. Please jesus. Please see a mom who so many times has disciplined or corrected and responded out of anger. Please hear my heart of confession. You give me mercies, new mercies every morning. You have extended amazing grace to me. You extended your hands to both ends of those horrific wooden beams…and you gave me grace.