A HEALTHY VILLAGE: ACCEPTANCE
“Grace is love that cares and stoops and rescues.” – John R. W. Stott
“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” – John 15:12 (NIV)
“I accept my village.” is indistinguishable from “I accept the people in my village.” Authenticity needs—no yearns— a response…acceptance.
People in our village are not coloring books where we can choose what color they should be filled with. They are portraits of memories and past.
The Village is not a museum of saints but a hospital for sinners. Like you and me.
The important thing is what we will do today to color their future. Our future.
Colored with love, the villager may come to know grace. Colored with forgiveness, the villager may know comfort. Colored with sacrifice, the villager will catch a glimpse of God’s love.
Accepting the villagers will require conviction.
Something that Babushka’s of Chernobyl may know something about. May we learn something from them in this TED video: Why stay in Chernobyl?
If Babushkas lived in my village, their voices would say: “I do not stay in this Village because it is perfect, but because it is mine. I will stand by it. I will protect it. Because it is where God has called me.”
But accepting and giving grace to someone will not guarantee that they will change. That is does not belong to us. It belongs to the Spirit of God. We cannot soften cold and deceitful hearts; only the Spirit can.
C. S. Lewis said: “There is no safe investment. To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one. Wrap it around carefully with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket of your selfishness. But in that casket — safe, dark, motionless, airless — it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable …. The only place outside heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers of love is Hell.”
It is true, there will be many times when acceptance and grace will be trampled over. Misused. Abused.
Still…“Grace is love that cares and stoops and rescues.” – John R. W. Stott
Dare to care for the village and God will protect what is His.