Amazing “American” Grace

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“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God…”                                                                                                                                             Ephesians 2:8

I cannot lie, I am thrilled that the election is over with.  The commercials and campaign ads were enough to drive even the most patient person just a little bit crazy.  However, now that the election is over with, it breaks my heart to see how our nation is responding to the news of Donald Trump winning the electoral vote.  Regardless of who you wanted to win, we can agree that some of us are happy with the outcome, others are not.

But that means our nation is divided, once more.  Riots, protests, and violence are breaking out in the streets of major cities to show disapproval of President-Elect Trump. Nearby, in Charlotte, we just dealt recently with riots and protests on our own community soil due to a racial issue.  The divide continues.

All of this division and no wholeness, no common ground anymore.  Just reactions of anger and actions seeking to split our country in half.  This burdens my heart with such a deep sadness. We need healing for our country and for our people.  Somehow, we need to get back to being “One Nation Under God.”

Perhaps what our country needs is a little more love and a lot more grace.  I recently heard a news story on the radio of a community food pantry that was robbed.  The thieves stole most of the food and paper products that were meant to be distributed to the homeless and those financially struggling to provide food on their tables.  The remarkable thing is how the workers at the food pantry responded.  They didn’t throw a fit of outrage because they had been violated.  They didn’t waste time talking about how they couldn’t believe this had happened to them or how dare robbers take advantage of the poor. They could have easily said they were giving up supplying food to the needy after the incident.

But instead, they responded in love and extended grace.  They put up blessing boxes near their building that were stocked with nonperishable foods which were free for anyone to take.  They placed signs on the boxes that read, “Take what you need. Give what you can.” They continued to meet a need in the community by responding with encouragement instead of negativity.

That’s what our country needs more of.  Stories of blessing others, in good times, and in times of crisis.  We need to be active in giving grace when people don’t deserve it, because that’s exactly what grace is.  We’ve done nothing to deserve it but it’s given to us a gift. We need to saturate our communities, newspapers, and television stations with heartwarming stories of neighbors loving neighbors. With all of the positive things going on, there would be little room for the negative to take back over like a dreaded disease.

God freely extends grace to you and to me.  He has given us the gift of eternal life through the death and resurrection of His only Son, Jesus Christ.  We haven’t earned this gift but it is ours if we surrender our lives to Him.  How wonderful to think that God doesn’t see division.  He only longs to make our hearts whole with His love. He offers this gift to everyone.  No matter who you are, where you come from, or who you know, you, too, can have the precious gift of grace. No matter if you love Hillary Clinton or support Donald Trump, you can grasp His grace.

So tonight, as America is determined to destroy itself through division and protest, make a commitment to counteract that with positivity.  Share Christ’s love with someone by telling them your story.  Be a little kinder and a lot slower to speak in anger.  Offer grace, even when you don’t feel like it.  Love God and love your neighbors and then sit back and watch God work in our country in a BIG way.

Blessings to you,

Alisha

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