I tend to be a truth-based person. I lean on the truth part of Ephesians 4:15 which encourages us to speak the truth in love. My husband leans on the mercy part. It is a good blend. He helps me live a life of compassion. I help him to give with wisdom. This last week has been a test of our capacity to offer grace being "Wise as serpents and harmless as doves" (Matthew 10:16)
During a big windstorm, a tree fell on our house. It was a big tree doing damage to the structure of the roof. We hired roofers to repair the damage... they hired someone else, who hired some young, inexperienced kids to accomplish the task. These young inexperienced (maybe in their early 20s) people had no common sense and our house has suffered huge water damage as a result. Ugh! what a mess! My reaction, well, wasn't pretty. It's funny, at this point I see at least some people thinking less of us for not choosing more competent workers. I have to say that we have spend much of our lives in a small town where you know everyone and you know who does good work and who doesn't. We felt a bit lost in the choosing but we picked someone we thought to be reputable, I still think they are reputable. I will change my mind if they don't do what it takes to make it right.
My husband's response was to get up on the roof and join in the work of rebuilding the roof. He has the experience and ability just not the time. He spent the day with these young people and came home with a heart full of compassion saying what they needed was mentoring. They worked hard for him and he enjoyed his day. He offered grace, modeling and direction and they blossomed under his kindness. How do you quantify that? I am humbled by his response. It reminds me of Jesus' response in Matthew 9:36 "But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd."
There is more to do, somehow figuring out what will be paid for in cleaning up after the deluge that poured into our house. But one thing I know. Grace is like living water poured onto the heads of those who are suffering in this world with no purpose or direction.
Through a comedy of errors an inexperience we have suffered violation. No one set out to violate us. Shock and anger are what first rises up in me but I have been blessed to again see grace and kindness win out, I am so grateful for the times when I have been given grace instead of condemnation. I am also blessed to be the observer in another's dance of grace.