C.S. Lewis has a book called “A Grief Observed”, which is his journal of grieving and questioning God after watching his wife die from cancer. This title has been bouncing around in my head for the past week and really pounded around it yesterday.
You see, our church has been in the midst of grief and grace for the past week. One week ago, sunday, our minister of adults came forward to the alter, with his wife. It was obvious that something was horribly wrong. Wednesday night I attended the Pastor’s Bible study and my thoughts were confirmed. The Minister of Adults had admitted to an affair with another member of our church. Both are married and both have small children. Both are deeply broken and repentant. I can’t imagine the suffering both families are going through.
All week the church and its staff have been grieving. Our pastor is particularly close to this minister and has been struggling all week.
Yesterday, the woman and her husband came forward to pray at the alter, and about 1/3 of the church came forward to be with them — praying with them and over them.
At last night’s service we observed the Lord’s Supper, after hearing Pastor’s message on “How we Heal”. The actual service was over within 30 minutes so that anyone could come forward and kneel before the Lord for healing. Most people came forward and you could hear prayers being whispered throughout the entire congregation.
The church has enveloped both of these families. So many prayers have been lifted up on behalf of their families for their marriages to be restored and healing to occur. They have not been shunned or ridiculed or tossed aside. They have been loved and will continue to be loved.
I have been moved beyond words, at the grace that has come out of the grief. There is unity and a spirit of love and grace that I have never observed before. It is amazing and pure. It has hit me at the core of my soul.
God can heal. God does heal. And the grace He offers is the sweetest thing in the world.
Who do you need to offer grace to today?
“Were it not for grace
I can tell you where I’d be…
Forever running but losing this race
Were it not for grace.”