… the thoughts from a life in the Son-shine State

Confession: I Am Struggling


So, I have been an off-and-on follower of the POTSC movement. This stands for People of the Second Chance. This is a great movement that some of my friends are involved in, like my friend Mohan Karulkar; and they are advocating the demonstration of the love of Christ through responses of radical grace toward others that would otherwise be treated like villains. A quick example of some that are mentioned: Mike Tyson, a catholic priest, Casey Anthony, a member of the KKK, Osama Bin Laden, etc. (You can learn more about this movement by clicking here.)

This leads me into he reason for this blog. CONFESSION: I’m struggling with this. This is weird for me. I feel as though I am one that is normally willing to demonstrate grace in a way that many may have difficulty doing. But a situation has happened recently that has my head spinning, and my heart hurting; and I am finding it difficult to respond with grace.

Just the basics for the sake of understanding. (I will purposefully try to be vague because some may read this that are aware of the situation, and I don’t want to cause any harm.)

  • 17-year old girl gets pregnant by a 15-year old boy
  • After much talk, they decide they want to keep the child
  • The girl’s father wants her to have an abortion
  • He proceeds with threats, and the daughter tries to get away from him
  • Father takes away phone, car, etc., and kicks her out of the house
  • She still wants to keep the child
  • Father gives his daughter a choice: have the abortion, or he will file statutory rape charges on her, and she will spend 10 years in prison following the delivery of the child.
  • Out of fear, pressure, and confusion, she has the abortion.

So… I think that you can see my struggle. I do not want to show grace to the father. This is really challenge for me. Man, my heart has been troubled by this all day. Until now, POTSC was a cool idea that I felt I could completely understand. But now, I’m experiencing the real battle in the demonstration of the grace of God to one that has deliberately and openly rejected him, and has done the same to his own daughter and her unborn child. Wow.

Please pray for the girl, her father, and the boy (father of the now-aborted child). Also, please pray for me that I will allow the Holy Spirit to change my heart and that salvation be the result of this event.

Heavy-hearted…

Steve

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Comments on: "Confession: I Am Struggling" (13)

  1. 1) Love the design … haven’t been by in awhile.
    2) Grace doesn’t always look the same. Sometimes it looks like forgiveness … like letting someone off the hook for a wrong they committed against you. Or it looks like a physical second chance … like letting someone try a task again that they dropped the ball on once. And sometimes it’s about embracing the humanity of someone and focusing on building them up, regardless of their flaws and misdeeds.

    The dad is obviously dealing with issues that precede his daughter’s predicament. Maybe anger, control, abuse, who knows. Grace, in this case, may include prayer for the dad and non-toxic support for the girl. It’s a toughie.

  2. It’s always easier to “have grace” when you’re not involved or close to the person, isn’t it? I agree with you. I struggle with this as well when something becomes a little more personal or close to home. I will pray for all involved. That is way tough.

  3. hi steve,

    i have no magic words or wisdom to make this disappear for you but i will absolutely pray for you and all involved.

    my hope is that in the midst of the pain, fear and swirling emotions, there will be clarity and honest perspective on all sides. maybe you simply being you – honest and available if they need support – is all you need to do right now. just be you for them and show them all love. it doesn’t mean you have to invite them to all your parties. it just means, you’re offering them what you would want for yourself.

    praying for you all.

    l.

  4. man this is terrible!! I would say I would have a hard time too!! Not to get too caught in details, but since when can a 17 yr old be charged with statuatory rape? Not a legal adult.

    Even God is selective in giving grace: “he gives grace to the humble but resists the proud.” Not sure what I am saying here, but thought of that verse.

    Praying for u!

    • He offers grace to everyone but does not give it to everyone. He is full of grace but does not give it to everyone. We have to accept the offer humbly to receive it

    • Yeah, regarding the rape thing, I don’t think that she could actually be charged with it; but he used it as an intimidation/fear tool to corner her. It’s really sad.

  5. Boy, this is a tough one, Steve. Kudos to you for tackling it head-on and not being afraid of the mess. I know many others who would have just shut down. But because life is messy, grace is necessarily so.

    So, as in everything, there are two basic options. 1) give grace 2) withhold grace.

    I will confess to being a lifelong grudge holder. I was great at APPEARING non-judgmental while my heart seethed with judgment. And I can promise you, the father would have been a bullseye on my grudge target – replete with underhanded, sarcastic jibes both in front of him and behind his back.

    Then, I became in a series of ministries/ movements aimed at second chances and forgiveness. Epiphany Ministry, Stephen Ministry and POTSC. I am not going to tell you that grace is easy – the wrestling and internal arguing in which I engage are enough to rival even the most heated presidential debate! What I do know is that it is absolutely essential to extend grace if you want to heal. It doesn’t mean absolving the offender of responsibility for the behaviour and it doesn’t mean, necessarily, reconciliation…

    As I don’t know the full situation, I am generalizing; however, it seems to me that her father isn’t interested in grace. He’s interested in control. What I have learned is that, in withholding grace, you are not exacting the (revenge, control, justice) or instilling in the offender the (guilt, remorse, repentance, change) that you would like to and might believe.

    The reality of the situation is: He doesn’t care whether you grant him grace or not. (again, generalizing) What I see happening, then, is withholding grace will hurt you because you will be carrying around pain and negative emotion when you could release them through grace.

    Your withholding grace will also not be helpful to the young woman. She is hurting. It might seem the right thing to be angry for her – to hold that grudge for her…but in order to be able to be true support for her, you must show her how to heal – she will be unable to heal completely until she, too, can release the fear, pain and hate she has for her father. (She will also have to reconcile the inconsistency of still loving the man who treated her this way – I can tell you from experience, that is not an easy task.)

    Okay, that may be a bit of rambling – I’m good at that, but I hope you can find the point that God would have me convey.

    Thanks for sharing. Thanks for opening the dialogue. Thanks for growing enough that you can even seek to extend grace. I credit the POTSC for opening my heart enough to see the opportunities.

    Proud to be POTSC!!

  6. Grace isn’t yours to hold or give. It doesn’t belong to POTSC or any person or ministry. It comes from God, through Christ, to us and then through us – that’s why it’s so AMAZING!

    I know you Steve. You’re saved by grace through faith and that’s why I know you’ll do what Christ is already doing inside you.

    Be courageous. Grace fought for you.

    • That’s really good perspective. I guess I was thinking too much about POTSC, and less about simply allowing Christ to rule and reign.

      Would this be a proper time to say “Love wins”?

      Thanks, Captain, for the encouragement and perspective.

  7. Jesse Ledbetter said:

    Angry grace… in the temple flipping over tables… treating apostates as unbelievers… etc. Jesus’ grace is amazing not merely in its depth, but also in its breadth.

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