A part of encountering grace is encountering it with others. I wanted this my whole life, but early on I couldn't go there because of my people pleasing which was undergirded by my shame. It wasn't until I was in my late 20's that I could say, "Jim is my friend." I just couldn't believe someone would really want to be my friend. If I couldn't believe another was really my friend then I couldn't believe I actually mattered enough to hurt someone enough to where he or she would need to offer me grace.
While it will always be somewhat of a struggle I've learned to enter into holy relationship with others. Holy relationship being where a friend has access to the best of me and the worst of me. That can be tough to do, but oh so freeing. Our deepest fear is the fear of rejection, especially rejection of the good heart/beauty that is in all of us. It hurts some to be made fun of for our sin, but it slices to the core to be made fun of that which is most tender in our souls.
A graceful friend can see the good heart/beauty that resides deep within us that we dare not look for out of fear that it is not there. He or she can see more inside of you or me than we can on our own.
Who is your community?
It needs to be those who see all of you and are willing to point you toward God; those who are willing to help you recover an awareness of God.
In the video series TrueFaced one man says this,
A true friend will sing your song back to you when you’ve forgotten how it goes. So I’ve given a few people the sheet music to my life, and they know it and they can remind me of it when I’ve forgotten it.
Who has the sheet music to your life? Do you know your song to give it anyone? Do you have hope that God is redeeming the junk from your life? How have you seen it?