I’m Done, I told my husband, while sitting on our unmade bed, the sounds of Saturday noise echoing through the house. The cause of emotion, a tense conversation with someone I love. It was a spent moment, the kind that comes from days of climbing closer toward the tension, knowing there will be the inevitable snap. And when the snap finally occurs, it is strong and it is fierce.
Fierce is how I felt as I laced up my tennis shoes, in preparation for a weekend run. Angry. Put out.
My feet hit the pavement, my face feeling the warmth of the sun, and I began to review my words. And as I climbed the first big hill, I began to pray. To turn over in my mind the reasoning behind my anger. And as I did so, the slow spread of conviction began.
What if God responded to me as I responded to others?
What if He had found the depth of our sin so offensive, that He had sat angry and sullen at the foot of the Cross?
What if He had withheld His perfect Son Jesus, because our waywardness was too great?
What if He had faltered before death, because it was an agony too great to bear for people undeserving?
What if He left us alone to wrestle through the days, because it was difficult to meet us in the mud?
What if our ugly days were the ones on which he turned His back, because He simply ran out of grace?
What if His heart mirrored mine?
In the greatest of mercies, God the Father never once uttered a declaration of limitation in the face of our sin. Instead, the perfect sacrifice of His Son was met with the words It is Finished. Bondage to sin, finished. Enslavement to self, finished. The penalty for sin was lifted at the Cross, and because of that we know mercy. We have felt it, and we can give it.
I returned from my run that morning, convicted of the tendency to offer scant grace. Shallow grace. The kind of grace that really is not, because it has finely-constructed boundaries. And when those boundaries are crossed, declarations of I’m Done! echo through the halls of my home.
The beauty of being in Christ is that His work is never finished. As Francis Schaeffer wrote, when we exist in Christ “there are endless new starts”. And if He has not given up on me, though the stain of sin marks the every-day, neither will I give up on others.
Because in Him, they are granted endless new starts, too.