For the Law was given through Moses, but grace [the unearned, undeserved favor of God] and truth came through Jesus Christ.
In the ongoing struggle with vision in my left eye, one of the consequences is a droopy eyelid. It was so bad that repair was necessary. Plastic surgery was recommended which was done last Friday.
As I’m lying in the pre-op room, a nurse goes over some of the instructions to follow post surgery. I didn’t really get it all until I got home and read the sheet of paper. There were 21 different instructions. 21! Both sides of the paper.
This should be easy for me because I’m a first born and an enneagram 8 and we follow the rules. Most of them were typical and expected. I had been given a list of supplies to have on hand prior to the surgery which included a bag of frozen peas.
Those peas would become my constant companion as soon as I got home and for the next two days. I had to put them in a little baggie and with a moist gauze pad, place them on my eye for 20 minutes every hour. All day long. For two full days. That’s about 14-15 times/day. Needless to say, another instruction was to rest for the first two days.
It lightened up a bit to 3-6 times/day for the next two days. And now, I’m using warm compresses 4 times a day for the next week.
I have a friend who has been following my progress and she texted me that I was probably the only patient that has been so diligent about after-care. My reply was, “If you want a good outcome, gotta follow the instructions.” She texted back, “Been thinking about following instructions…sounds straightforward, and is a lot of time, but life happens, hence the need for grace.”
I grew up in a very legalistic church with lots of rules and not a lot of grace. I appreciate the legacy of that church but as life has unfolded, I’ve had to learn that grace must be part of the equation. Everything is not the black and white that I thought it was. There is a color gray. And gray is not bad.
I know that the law of Moses was given so that people would have rules to guide them in how to love and obey God and how to treat other people. It was a precursor for the law of love that Jesus brought when He died on the cross for our sins. And that is what grace is all about. The children of Israel had no understanding of grace but we do.
I was listening to a podcast that was analyzing the term “evangelical” and where we are as a church today. Our Christian culture has changed so dramatically, specifically in recent years. I’ve always considered myself an evangelical, particularly if defined by a set of theological tenants. However, the term has been so politicized that I no longer use it. I am a Christ follower. I live under grace.
The eye is healing, the instructions are getting checked off, and light is at the end of the tunnel.
Don’t forget that sometimes…life happens.
Be grace filled.