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Understanding Grace

It’s easy to get caught up in theology. Theology is important, but story tells – well – a better story. There’s a great story about grace that Gordon Fee talks about in one of his many lectures. It’s the story of the broken window. It’s a true story.

In the story, a group of boys were playing with a BB gun in a vacant lot. They were doing what boys do, shooting cans, glass bottles…etc. One boy, David, however, shot at the large picture window of a nearby home. The BB should have bounced off the glass. It didn’t. It broke the window. As boys do, they ran for the hills. However, David saw that the owner saw him.

David eventually found his way home that night. He didn’t have much of an appetite. He waited for the dreaded phone call from his neighbor. It never came. Days went by. Still nothing. David worked hard to avoid the man who owned the home. It wasn’t easy. It was his neighbor and David liked to play outside in the neighborhood. Whenever he saw the man, David would take off like the wind.

After about ten days, David dropped his guard and the man finally caught up with him. He stopped him and said David, we need to talk. David wasn’t interested in talking, as you can imagine. Nevertheless, the man said, “David, I had the glass company come out and fix the window. It’s all set. David, I need you to do something for me. I want you to shake my hand and be my friend.”

David hesitated, then screamed, “No!” He tried to run. The man caught him and said, “David, we live in the same neighborhood, we can’t go on like this. Please, be my friend.” David reluctantly shook the man’s hand.

From that day, everything changed. When David saw the man walking home from work, he would stop whatever he was doing (even if he was in the middle of a ball game) and run to him so he could carry his briefcase. Over the years, David became like a son to the man.

Years later, David died in the Korean war. His fighter was shot down. The man who owned the home was at his grave crying about his lost son.

This is a story of grace. It’s much more powerful than the theology of grace. Grace is a story. It’s a story that can transform enemies into friends. It can change lives forever. It’s something to sing and dance about. It’s something to discover in Jesus.


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