In Philip Yancy’s book, What’s So Amazing About Grace, he tells a story of C.S. Lewis walking into a discussion regarding Christianity’s contribution to world religions. His immediate reply was, “Grace.” The more I experience in my life, in our society, and in how the world works, the more I find grace to be the truly difficult, revolutionary and redemptive core of God’s love for us.
Grace is difficult because in our society we value hard work and celebrate excellence. In our families we teach our children to earn rewards and develop skills and character. Even in our churches we often look to the most functional, healthy and driven to lead, guide and model the Christian life. This is all well and good, yet I do want to carve out some room for grace.
In this newsletter you will read Chris’ story and the reality of relapse in our work at Fort Collins Rescue Mission and Harvest Farm. I hope you connect with this on a personal level because it holds a deep truth—no matter how functional, healthy, productive, and excellent we are, we can never be perfect. Within this moment of imperfection is the good news of the gospel, where God is waiting to pour grace in to heal, restore and bless. It is true that at our very core we are more defined by God’s grace than by any productivity or achievement. But it is also true that any relapse, failure, mistake, or sin we experience is totally and absolutely eclipsed by God’s abundant grace!
Communities that embrace only excellence can become lean and competitive, casting the broken into the darkness. Communities that embrace God’s true grace are planted in the soil of humility and forgiveness from which each individual grows to become better contributors and fulfill their God-given roles. From this grace comes excellence, health and productivity, yet let us never lose sight of God’s work in all of our lives to accept us at our worst and love us into our best.
We all need places of grace where we encounter God’s love for us just as we are without condition. Because of you, our generous donors, Fort Collins Rescue Mission is a refuge for many who have fallen out of other communities, and because of God’s grace, they can be restored! Thank you for being a crucial part of our community of grace!
Senior Director of Fort Collins Rescue Mission
This post is part of October’s Changing Lives Newsletter. This month, you’ll learn about four misconceptions of relapse and how the Mission is helping people suffering with addiction.