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I just discovered People of the Second Chance over the past week, and I’ve been absolutely taken by their message. I’ve been reading everything on their site and all the blogs they link to—definitely check them out. Their mission is one of radical grace. Their newest series, NEVER BEYOND, proposes that no matter how horrible or heinous or hopeless someone may seem they are never beyond the grace and forgiveness that Jesus offers.
Who would you give a second chance?
I’ve struggle with this question. I’ve had a pretty darn good life. I’ve had no catastrophic or traumatic events. I even have *gasp* good parents. And I have a great husband! So I started considering the hurts that inevitably happen to all of us, that end up forming who we are to some extent. We all have insecurities that originate outside of ourselves for some reason. Here’s where my thoughts went:
What about Justin who observed that a 5th-grade-you had pretty hairy legs? What about Micah who—when asked in 7th grade if he liked you—responded that you had bushy eyebrows? What about that group of girls in your freshman English class you discovered had been calling you The Hairy Beast all semester?
The fact that I can remember names and specific times speaks to how deeply hurt by these people I was. And the fact that just recalling them made me cry speaks to how much I have not forgiven them for their actions.
Then I start considering all of the people I may have hurt equally, people whose lives have been formed or insecurities originated because of me and my actions. At 30 years old, I’m well aware that I can just say the stupidest things sometimes. What about the second chances or forgiveness I need that I might not even be aware of?
And then what about the forgiveness I need that I’m perfectly aware of, but simply too afraid to ask for it? I emotionally hurt my sister significantly when we were very young.
We’ve never spoken of it since it happened—maybe she doesn’t even remember. But I do. And if she does, the fact that I was the matron of honor in her wedding means that she not only gave me a second chance on that account, but also on the many, many other hurts that accompany typical sisterhood growing up.
I don’t care how good you think you are. You are never beyond a second chance. You are NEVER BEYOND Jesus’ grace.
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