Keep On the Sunny Side: Grace



My first year in ministry as a solo pastor I was so proud to be in ministry. I was eager and energetic and enthusiastic, just out of Duke Divinity– feeling very capable and qualified. I felt I understood the balance between sacred organization and non-profit business management; thus, I was thrilled to order my very first set of business cards.

For my design: I chose pink. Why? Because I often make poor choices based on aesthetics and I truly believe pink is pretty. For print: I chose gold! Why? Because I am human, and again, often make poor choices based on aesthetics; also, the gold glistened like the rising sun, and I somehow thought that might make a theological representation of Sunrise UMC, our congregation.

I was beyond wrong! I had terrible judgment, in fact. The intentionally designed cards arrived from the mail in a small white box, and as I opened the long-awaited business cards, I was humbled at my inability to design, attract, or market. They were terrible. Perfectly printed according to my design, but the design was simply terrible.

My wonderful and gracious husband (with an MBA from Wake Forest and an Undergraduate degree in Business), humbly questioned me when they arrived in the mail: “Love” he said, “Are you sure you want to hand these out?” Again, he questioned me: “You chose this design on purpose?” He gently continued, “Were you aware that even your most basic of information, aka your name, is illegible because of the font choice in gold!?”

I, having studied church history, theology, education, and ancient biblical languages, very defensively responded: “Well! It looked pretty on the website!”

What a fool am I! God continues to remind me of the grace prevalent in the body of Christ. We are all necessary! We all bring gifts! And quite simply, the body cannot function as it should without the most simple of gifts and the most complex of gifts working together, in union.

Today I had the privilege of leading worship, and I watched a young woman, from our Intellectually and Developmentally Delayed Community (IDD) boldly climb our stage to join the Praise Team in their final song of worship. She had never rehearsed or practiced but was eager to share her joy in worship celebration on this particular Sunday Celebration. Because she didn’t want to stand alone, her mother stood with her. Arm over shoulder, each of them sang boldly: “This is Amazing Grace! This is Unfailing Love!” It brought tears to my eyes to see a parent’s love for a child. It brought tears to my eyes to consider a child’s desire to honor their heavenly Father. It brought tears to my eyes to see two individuals bound together, doing their best to give glory to God. It brought tears to my eyes to recognize, even when we fall short of God’s purpose and plan for our lives, we are still loved, still accepted, still forgiven, and still free to live into the call of Christ on our hearts.


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