2020: The Year We Learned Grace

What actually went down this year? None of us saw this coming—and yet it has changed us in ways we will never understand. 2020 has changed all of us in the most important way.

This is the year you learned grace. This will be our most important lesson for the people we want to become. Grace is everything.  

Radical grace is all around us—all of us wearing masks, crisis educating our kids, staying home, forgoing the best traditions and sacrificing hugs and seeing our loved ones.

We’re pretending like Zoom works. I mean, come one. This is all radical grace. 

The most interesting part of any story is the part of Failure & Redemption.

It’s interesting because we create whole lives around avoiding failure and never having to pivot. We hate facing our own inadequacies so much. And yet, that’s the part of the story that gets the most attention. The best plots are the ones where the failure is so high; the best characters are the ones who are seriously flawed.

But this year we’ve all faced crisis and with that we’ve had to admit what our own shortcomings. This confession part of the pandemic is hard.

   And yet, realizing your own failure is the first step of grace.

The formula of true grace is these three parts…

  1. … humbleness that you are not perfect and need grace—this allows you to understand the faults in someone else. 
  • No one got the scope and sequence of this pandemic right. We all made predictions that turned out to be way off. We have had to pivot so many times, we look like a bunch of ballerinas.
  • This makes us weary. Our brains like facts and a plan. We love the confidence that comes from being right. We live for the smugness of knowing the right thing to do.
  • What good can come from our entire world—individually and collectively— admitting they have no idea what they are doing?
  • The truth is, this is where most of us actually live all the time. Most of us are winging it and hoping we don’t get caught. We all have these doubts that maybe we don’t know what we are doing and spend a lot of time covering that up.
  • It is so uncomfortable to say that you made a mistake and read the room wrong. Our human nature has us blame 2020. Or to distract from our own lack of knowledge by complaining about how everyone else in the world is such idiots.
  • Except the deep, dark secret we’re all hiding is that we don’t really know what we’re doing. And that is so terrifying.

2. …deep, true kindness/compassion from the Holy Spirit to share with those around you who also are not perfect. This is compassion for our collective brokenness

  • Another part of the formula is the deep, true kindness that comes from the Holy Spirit when you are able to show compassion that is a fruit of the Holy Spirit living in your soul.
  • When you recognize yourself as a terrified, tired, bratty human, you can also see that in other people. You can see their struggle and love them in spite of that. 
  • You can meet them where they are and understand that they are doing the best they can. This is a little miracle–that us prideful, silly, angry, tired humans would be able to move from the mindset of ME to WE.
  • True grace is not the love of control, this is the love of compassion. 
  • To be loved like this is what we all desperately want and need. It’s the way that God loves us—He knows us completely and loves us completely. 

3. … a desire to be new, to be changed—not just once, but a continual renewing of your Spirit

In 2020, we kept showing up for more. The perseverance to keep showing up is radical. Just crazy. How else can we explain this softness of Spirit? 

The most important part of this is the move forward, carrying the other two parts (the humbleness and the compassion). 

New desires (better desires) going forward (Colossians 3:9-10)

The radical forgiveness of yourself and others and the spiritual kindness are baked into who you are now.

And this is the best news you could have hoped for.

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4 Responses
    1. Christina

      Yes! In spite of everything that 2020 has thrown at us, God gives us the perseverance to keep showing up. Small (big?) miracle.
      So happy for hope in 2021.

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