Tuesday, May 17, 2005

grace for the snaggle-toothed

The car that I drive is a gold, '95, Nissan Maxima. Its a great little vehicle and has served me well over the last few years. A few months back I got one of my tires slashed by some bored kids who live near my parents house. I guess when the mechanics were putting on my new tires they didn't put the hubcap back on very well. At some point along some road the hubcap for my right front tire fell off.

Now, when I drive around town, my car looks like a 6 year old proudly displaying her missing front tooth. Only, I have an old car so its more like an 87 year old grandmother who doesn't mind the holes in her smile. I wonder if there is a hubcap fairy out there than can hook me up with some extra spending money. I have been thinking about replacing this hubcap but just can't bring myself to do it.

It was a little embarrassing at first but not anymore. I actually like my car's missing front tooth. I guess its the same kind of feeling a punk kid or a heavy metal lover in the 80's got from not dressing preppy. Sometimes not having the "right" external appearance can set you apart from the rest of the crowd.

The crowd in this case is a Starbucks parking lot full of SUVs, BMWs, and sporty sedans. It's row after row of nicely washed and waxed cars. All symbols of status and success. And snuggled in-between them is old granny with her snaggle-toothed grin.

It makes me wonder if grace is really God "fixing" our imperfections or if it is Him allowing us to keep them. And maybe not keep them forever. But just long enough to know that He loves us with or without them.


At 9:10 PM, Blogger gar said...

"It makes me wonder if grace is really God "fixing" our imperfections or if it is Him allowing us to keep them."

This is the core of the Reformation, eh? Protestantism focuses on the latter: while the former is a natural *result*, it is not "required". RC-ism says both are what grace does, and both are what salvation is about.

At 6:28 AM, Blogger brendar said...

Huh? I'm not sure what Gar just wrote. We are simply too affected by the world around us. We can't help it. Our idea of perfection is tainted by commercialized images of sweaty, lean stomachs. I like the idea that the resurrected body of our Lord had scars on it. I think that Gar always needs to turn things into a Protestant/Catholic thing.

At 11:39 AM, Blogger Ryan said...

I am reminded of the moment when a group of religious people bring a women to Jesus, ready to stone her and condemn her for her sin (adultery). Jesus looks at her and then at the crowd who is waiting eagerly to throw their stone at her and says: "if any of you is without sin, you be the first to throw the stone." Then after everyone leaves, he looks at the women and says: "What happened to all your accusers, do they not condemn you? Then neither do I. Go and sin no more."

Grace is not an excuse for our stagnation, and I dont think it is God fixing us either. I think that it is God loving us no matter who we are or what we do, and at the same time saying: "Go and sin no more".

At 12:19 PM, Blogger tali said...

i think God is most definately fixing us. he's certainly working on me.

"He's still workin' on me,
To make me what I ought to be.
It took Him just a week to make the moon and the stars,
The sun and the earth and Jupiter and Mars.
How loving and patient He must be,
He's still workin' on me!"

At 9:42 AM, Blogger Kevin Rector said...

I totally relate to this. I work in one of the ten richest counties in the country (Williamson County just south of Nashville Tennessee) and I am perpetually surrounded by the fancy cars. Mine on the other hand is a 1991 Ford Ranger with most of the outter layer of paint missing. It runs like a hoss and is paid for.

I used to feel weird, but not anymore.

At 3:00 PM, Blogger Mark said...

Yes, I have to agree with the "both/and" comments that have been mentioned here. Gar, ryan and tali all seem to be on that page.

I agree that God's grace does transform. But my car just happened to remind me that it also accepts me in my messiness.


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