Pictures of Law and Grace

Grace looks at our life with its endless desert of sin, its endless and voracious appetite for forbidden pleasure and pretense and lifeless self-serving fake virtue, and sees one little shred of life, one tiny spot of real joy, one spot of mercy, and seizes on it. It sees years and years and years of habitual destructive sin, and sees one little tiny molecule of hope, and it believes. It sees a life dyed to the core with bitterness and rage and lust and self-absorption and fascination with empty pleasure, of complete hopelessness, and sees that one spot of hope, and believes. It rushes to nourish and water that one hopeful spot of life, it is careful not to trample the bruised but living reed.

In fact, according to the scripture, it even creates the one hopeful spot of life (Ephesians 2:8). So it takes us completely devoid of any hope, a complete desert, altogether dead, and creates the opportunity and seizes upon it.

The desert is not remote in southern tropics
The desert is not only around the corner,
The desert is squeezed in the tube-train next to you,
The desert is in the heart of your brother.
The good man is the builder, if he build what is good.
I will show you the things that are not being done,
And some of the things that were long ago done,
That you may take heart, Make perfect your will.
Let me show you the work of the humble. Listen.
Choruses from the Rock, T.S. Eliot

Law says, the best grass is green. It searches for the flaw. It focuses on the imperfection. If there is imperfection, it believes that this is surely the ultimate core truth of the lawn. It focuses on what is wrong, it must have proof in abundance to hope. It sees a life with sin and lust, and it is successful when it nails it and condemns. It is ready to dismiss, to disbelieve, to abandon to find greener pastures.

We write law onto the heart of God, but God sees our persistent sin and evil and rottenness and lack of faith, and sees that one green blade in the vast desert, and He rushes to water it with hope and encouragement. He seeks for the good.

It is faith like a mustard seed, a tiny speck of life, which grows to a great tree in the garden.

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