Locker Room Grace
By Cynthia Ruchti
Our adult small group left our open Bibles and notebooks and coffee cups to spend some time voicing our support of and prayers for the young people who met at the same time in another part of the church. We walked into the multi-purpose room to stand in an embracing semi-circle at the back while they worshiped in all-out abandon.
“We’re here and we care,” we wanted to say.
We had to hurdle something to get into that room packed to the wall studs with teenagers. It smelled like a locker room in there. Teens with lots of energy but too little deodorant and an excess of gym shoes and two-day-old socks.
But Jesus was a locker-room-grace kind of people lover.
The idea of reaching out to people in need when it’s uncomfortable or challenging to us shouldn’t seem so unusual, should it? If we’re responding as we should to the grace God showed us, won’t it be normal for us to share His love with…well, with people who sometimes smell bad? Our sin was a stench in God’s nostrils when He sent His Son to reach us. One of the key teachings of Scripture is this: “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us,” Romans 5:8.
That mind-blowing truth should change the way we feel about others, shouldn’t it? Why should anyone’s failings or odor or heritage or accent or homelessness or age or ungodliness keep us from showing them the kind of love the Lord shows us every day? Why should their need be a stumbling block to us? It’s the very reason God sent His Son!
Grace is messy sometimes. And yes, it sometimes smells like a locker room.
Is there someone toward whom the Lord has been nudging you? Someone at work? At church? In your neighborhood? Is there a young person whose choices and lifestyle and attitude repulse you? Is it possible that reaching out to that person is what the Lord would consider normal? Locker room grace?
PRAYER: Lord, thank You for overlooking how my sin smelled when You invited me to share life and eternal life with You.
“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us,” Romans 5:8 KJV.
Today’s devotional is by Cynthia Ruchti, writer/producer of THE HEARTBEAT OF THE HOME radio ministry and president of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). Cynthia’s debut novel—They Almost Always Come Home—releases from Abingdon Press May 1, 2010–http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtZb0by984g. Cynthia writes stories of hope-that-glows-in-the-dark (www.cynthiaruchti.com).