Crossing Boulevard

with Rev. Rachel


The grace to begin again is needed. Some weeks more than others.

Yesterday, I awoke to the thought that perhaps my house was being broken into, which was not the case. A drunk driver had run the stop sign. The damage he caused was loud.

I opened the curtains to find a crowd of neighbors convening. He had driven up onto the sidewalk. It was strange to see a car parked alongside of the adjacent stoop. It was even stranger to have the primary victim walk over and say: “I’m so sorry about your grass. I’ve been watching you work so hard on it and I feel so bad.”

Nine more people expressed their condolences that morning. It’s true. Two totaled cars, two more majorly damaged, one driver in trouble with the law and his conscience, another driver with a sore back (thank God because we all suspected worse)…and folks were sad for my grass and me. Insert flushed face emoji.

The grace to begin again flowed freely. Of course it did. I was out there with tools in no time. A neighbor repaired the garden fencing. I went to work on the leveling out and picking up tiny car parts. As the sweat blurred my vision, I thought, how parabolic…the practice of starting over because starting over well is what kingdom cultivation requires …this was the stuff of Jesus’ storytelling!

This morning put an end to that discipleship aha moment. Though my house had not been broken into some 24 hours ago, my car had been, I realized, overnight. The only thing taken seemed to be the care package. I had finally gotten around to making copies of the sermons, organizing the notes, attaching orders of worship, bubble-wrapping the book and thumb-drive—a colleague had asked for these materials—and this was what he/she snatched? Really?

Really. The grace to begin again does not always come rolling down from the heavens. Sometimes it has to be pleaded for, which is an insight that is probably as spiritually significant as it is uninvited.

Friends, when the mini-defeats follow the tiny wins, chins up (v.13)! Ask Jesus for a little of that untying (v.16); not for pride’s sake, but because there are things to see that we may only be able to see from precisely where we are—things that matter for how we live and love and labor on.

UncategorizedRachel May