And when you’re left with just one stone, the painful and hopeful truth to a shell of a man is as convicting as it is comforting. The same grace that convicts us is the grace that pardons us. Along this road, grace looks both ways.
Yeah, although he came back with memories of deeds as stinky as his pig-slopped clothes, the prodigal in our verse couldn't stray beyond his father's love. Before he knew it, a robe replaced rags, a ring dressed his hand and a feast filled his belly. And while you and I may not have mud on our shoes, there's not a person reading this sentence who doesn't need that kind of grace from a grace-giving God.
The recipients of the gift of mobility may never meet Joni herself. They may never hear her high-pitched, joy-filled voice. They will likely never see her face to face, share a meal or join her in song. But on their respective dusty roads of obscurity, amid languages as diverse as the cultures they represent, they look down and push the wheels of their chairs and somehow they touch her and she feels it.
The self is that opponent I seldom slug. I pull my punch. I love him too much. But even when I do knock him down, he is never out. Inevitably, out of my periphery I see him getting up off the canvas. He is relentless. There are no neutral corners with him. He can't hear the bell. He won't stay down. And like a seasoned sparring partner, he knows my soft targets. He is as unwelcome to me as a sunrise to the sleepless. I would know.
ll take you to meet Kevin. A former Dallas cop with a brain injury. I want his heart.
I’ll take you to meet Ryle. Spina bifida imprisons his little body, but his spirit no arena can hold.
I’ll take you to a welcome ceremony, a pirate’s play and a talent show. I’ll take you there.
And I’ll introduce you to a small team of people leading the charge in Texas for kids and families impacted by special needs. So, if you’re looking for a reason to serve, to train, to hard-charge the week, to eat right, to see your health and illness through the Gospel’s lens, I have just one…I’m happy.
How we handle our gifts and abilities could produce a truce. Where we go in times of sickness is a chance at a treaty. Isn't that the real point? It really isn't about being at peace with my body. God-forbid I minimize the topic down to the preservation of self-acceptance or being comfortable in my own skin.
What will we do when our loss of muscle, or our gain of bodyfat, our diminishing bone mass, elevated resting heart rate, our unrelenting atrophy, our irreversible disease progression, or our unmistakeable loss of strength testifies to the truth that we are made of dust, not iron. What will we do with Easter?