GRACE is the love that takes us by surprise. It's the help we hadn't counted on, the kindness we didn't think we deserved. And maybe we don't, but it's there anyway,and this is how we survive most of our disasters.

NOW, DON'T IMAGINE that grace will take care of everything. Even though God forgives, our loved ones do not forget. Things stay sticky for a while. Nor do second chances come cheaply, as we find when we confess to those we have wronged. Grace comes at a tremendous price.

IN MARRIAGE we do become "one flesh," as Jesus said, we do surrender our separate selves to become one person, and this person has been given life by God. Before we kill it, we should think about the consequences. Love is the basic power of the universe. We must not treat it casually.

WHEN WE SET our minds on the needs of others, it's impossible for us to be divided, and even in our churches the wolf and lamb, the calf and the lion, can lie down together. … The kingdom comes in fractions, but it comes. God's will is done on earth when his people set their minds on the needs of others. That's all it takes to provide a meetinghouse of friends.

HEAVEN, as other people have imagined it, does not hold a lot of charms for me. I cringe at the thought of little cherubs strumming harps and ogling each other sexlessly, or walking around on streets of gold for an eternity. … We were made for love, and as pure souls free of wasting bodies, with all the time in the world, maybe we could really know and love each other.

THERE IS STILL ROOM enough for wild animals and people to coexist, but there is no room for carelessness.

MAYBE LOVE, which on earth is made precious by our mortality, finds its full worth in immortality. Maybe that's what heaven is.

EASTER ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

July/August
Subscribe to CT and get one year free.
Tags:
From Issue:
Read These Next
Also in this Issue
Stemming the Embryonic Tide Subscriber Access Only
Pro-lifers face a scientific and public relations juggernaut.
RecommendedSanya Richards-Ross: My Abortion Broke Me; God Redeemed Me
Sanya Richards-Ross: My Abortion Broke Me; God Redeemed Me
The Olympic gold medalist opens up about faith, failure, and grace.
TrendingFinding My 'True Self' As a Same-Sex Attracted Woman
Finding My 'True Self' As a Same-Sex Attracted Woman
In my young-adult struggle with sexual identity, both legalistic condemnation and progressive license left me floundering.
Editor's PickPeople Aren't Projects
People Aren't Projects
...and other lessons I learned as a rural pastor.
Christianity Today
Grace That Surprises
hide thisOctober October

In the Magazine

October 2005

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.