by David Cawston

A Picture of Grace
David Cawston
II Samuel 9:1-13

Grace is a greatly misunderstood word in our culture. Our culture builds worth on talent, education achievement and wealth. We teach people to look deep inside and find something of value and then they can be accepted.

Haven't got to grace yet...
A conversation was overheard by a man between the young woman sitting next to him and her neighbor across the aisle. The woman was reading Scott Peck's The Road Less Traveled, the book that has stayed on The New York Times Bestsellers list longer than any other. ''What are you reading?'' asked the neighbor. ''A book a friend gave me. She said it changed her life.'' ''Oh, yeah? What's it about?'' ''I'm not sure. Some sort of guide to life. I haven't got very far yet.'' She began flipping through the book. ''Here are the chapter titles: 'Discipline, Love, Grace.... The man stopped her. ''What's grace?'' ''I don't know. I haven't got to Grace yet.'' I think of that last line sometimes when I listen to reports on the evening news. A world marked by wars, violence, economic oppression, religious strife, lawsuits, and family breakdown clearly hasn't got to grace yet. ''Ah, what a thing is man devoid of grace,'' sighed the poet George Herbert.

We operate on everything but Grace. Psychologist James Dobson reports seeing a sign on a convent in southern California reading: Absolutely No Trespassing! Violators Will Be Prosecuted to the Full Extent of the Law. Signed, ''The Sisters of Mercy.''

We operate on rules, conditional love, beauty, performance, material possessions and we place these things as worth while. It is no wonder then why teen suicide is so high! What is there to live for! How can I ever amount to anything. Beside what I have seen from those that have so called attained is not worth going after. It is empty!

Come on in...
A man dies and goes to heaven. Of course, St. Peter meets him at the pearly gates. St. Peter says, ''Here's how ...

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