In Luke 13:10-16, we read the story of Jesus healing a woman who had been crippled for eighteen years. He restored her life by offering grace. The catch was that Jesus healed her on the Sabbath. Because of this there were a few people who were upset with Jesus. It wasn’t the fact that Jesus healed that caused the raucous. The timing, they said, was just not right. There are plenty of other days in the week that she could receive healing, just not on the Sabbath, please. Those with the ruffled feathers wanted Jesus to fit into their schedule. They were uncomfortable with the idea that Jesus chose to offer grace at a time when they were not ready to do so.
A few days after reading this I was driving my youngest child home from a birthday party. She had spent the night at a friend’s house the night before and had then gone straight to the party. By the time I picked her up, she was way past tired. On the way home her birthday balloon popped and the flood of tears began. All the way home my daughter whimpered about her balloon. I finally reached the point of frustration and was ready to lash out at her for the whining. Almost immediately I remembered the inconvenient grace of Jesus. I was not confronting a woman who had been crippled for 18 years, but I was listening to my over-tired 5 year who was stuck in a whining cycle. Part of grace in that moment for my daughter was to tell her that I was sorry she was sad. Along with that, I needed to remind her that we don’t always get what we want and we need to be thankful for what we have. Grace in this situation was offered just by stating truth with a calm and comforting voice. Such a small example, but one that if I’m honest, took me a few minutes to offer.
It is in these moments that I need to ask if I am withholding grace from my children because it is inconvenient. Am I choosing to give a quick answer or lash out in frustration, because giving grace doesn’t fit my schedule? If I remember my constant need of heart-healing but refuse to offer that touch to others, I am being a hypocrite. Even in a situation where I am just dealing with an over-tired child, I either extend the touch of Jesus or I articulate through my angry words and actions to come back at another time for the grace that was needed.
Are you offering inconvenient grace?