The Divine Locksmith
There was a time in my life when I didn't really believe that God was all that grace-filled.
In fact, I'd kind of given up on believing in God altogether because I couldn't believe in the angry, judgmental God I'd been taught to be believe in. When this realization came to me, I walked away from the Church, from God, and from my faith.
And I was just fine without all of it.
Until I wasn't.
I think the moment where I realized just how much I'd been longing for something more came when I attended a church service for the first time in all the years since I'd walked away, vowing never to return.
I can't tell you what the sermon was about that day, but all I remember was sitting there in the pew with tears streaming down my face, shocked at how emotional I'd become.
It was the first time that I recognized the deep longing within me--a longing a longing for a new vision of God, a grace-filled God who loved me, in spite of my objections, and the armor I'd constructed to keep God out.
And it was grace that I felt most of all. The kind of grace that opened up my heart, which had been bound in chains of doubt, anger, resentment and fear.
I recently read a line from Fr. Richard Rohr that spoke to me, and brought the aforementioned moment to mind once again. He wrote:
Without grace almost everything human declines and devolves into smallness, hurt, and blame.
Grace is the secret key whereby God offers to be the Divine Locksmith for every life and for all of history.How much do you love that? I know that I do. The locks I'd placed around my heart were substantial. I'd spent years winding those chains, clamping those locks around them. I thought they could never be picked.
But the Divine Locksmith did what only the Divine Locksmith could do, and did it with the "secret key" that Rohr mentions---the key of Grace.
Looking back, I see now that the realization that came over me that day was that only a grace-filled God could take my locks apart, and finally let those awful chains I'd wound so tight around my heart fall to the floor.
And I wanted so desperately to believe in that God.
When we finally get just how amazing God's grace truly is, we begin to see how any view of an angry, retributive, judgmental God diminishes us, makes us small, narrows our view of ourselves and of the world.
If you have been struggling to feel the fullness of the grace of God, make today the day you let the Divine Locksmith do the good work of loosening the chains you've bound yourself up with.
Let grace be the key that unlocks a new world, a new life.
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.