“You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.” (Rom 2:1 NIV)
When I was growing up, I didn’t feel much love at my elementary school. It didn’t help that I had coke bottles at the end of my nose, that I was clumsy, or that I was a Francophone amidst a Flemish population in a Flemish school. Youngsters seemed to specialize in teasing me, and my only friends were those who were considered rejects themselves. The only safe place for me at recess was amongst the younger kids. Interestingly, these little ones accepted me willingly, ignoring my ill-fated qualities in life. At least none of them would point the finger.
It happened one day, however, at a local fair, that I was touched by grace. I was at a shooting gallery, desperately trying to hit pieces of chalk that were being used as targets. Whoever succeeded at making a whole piece of chalk crumble would be awarded a prize, and the more chalk you managed to crumble, the bigger the prize. Being young, I was not at all successful in my endeavours. The only thing I accomplished was using up all my money, and with tear-filled eyes, I could only look at the coveted prize.
I was ready to turn away from the shooting gallery when a high school kid appeared, seemingly out of nowhere, and said, “I will shoot it for you!”
Before I could say anything, he paid the vendor for ample non-dangerous ammunition, and he quickly eradicated several pieces of chalk. I received my reward that day, but more importantly, I felt extra special that a total stranger had taken his time to show me what grace truly meant. It was such a nice reprieve from being the laughingstock of everyone! Maybe there was hope after all!
“If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” (John 8:7 NIV)
(To access the entire “Radical Grace From the Book of Romans” devotional series, please click here.)