Doing Grace

The Security Guard Incident
We attend a big church. This  map shows a portion of the church’s campus.

The  building labeled “Worship Center” on this map seats upwards of 4,000 people.

Did I mention it’s big?

Because our church is so large, volunteers patrol the campus and parking lots. I had an instructive encounter with one of them recently.

My husband Rich and I serve in the baptism ministry. Our role is to sit at the baptism kiosk during the service and then to assist the pastor with baptisms after the service.

Last time we served, I left Rich at the table and walked to the parking lot to retrieve something from our car during the service. We had parked near the spaces reserved for handicapped people. As I returned to the car, I encountered one of the security guys. He was checking the cars in the handicapped section to ensure they displayed the proper credentials.

I greeted him and thanked him for his service. We chatted for a moment and then he drew my attention to a car that lacked the handicapped placard. A note rested under a windshield wiper.

“Let’s see what the story is,” he said. He walked over to the car and read the note aloud:

“My wife has a sprained ankle and cannot walk long distances.”

He turned to me and chuckled. “What do you say–shall we grace this guy?”

I smiled and nodded and wished him a good day. He hopped on his bicycle and continued on his rounds.

And for the rest of the day, I thought about grace as not just something we receive or give, but as something we do.

21 Then Peter came to Him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?” 22 “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!” Matthew 18:21-22 (NLT)