Grace, Grace, Amazing Grace
I ran into an old acquaintance from back home. Our small community saw little crime and rarely anything violent. However, this particular acquaintance was the wife of the one murder victim in recent memory there. His murder took place a few years ago.
Her husband had been trying to help a down-on-his luck young man get his act together. He had welcomed the young man into his home. One night, for no apparent reason except perhaps greed, the young man smashed the older man's head with a hammer.
I really hadn't discussed the incident with his wife until I saw her the other day. She told me that when she received the phone call that her husband had been murdered, her first words were a prayer, "Lord, please don't let me hate."
That stunned me. I cannot imagine that that would have been my first thought. She explained that she knew that she would need to lean heavily on the Lord to get through the pain of losing her husband, especially in that way. She knew she would need to lean heavily on the Lord to endure the trial. She knew that she would need to lean heavily on the Lord to survive financially. And she knew that if she hated, her fellowship with the Lord would suffer when she needed Him most.
Since that time she has lived free from bitterness; she has been free. Her husband's murderer has apparently been changed and is leading Bible study in prison. They correspond regularly. She hasn't visited yet, but that day may finally come too, she thinks.
As she continues to live in grace and peace, proving that grace, peace, joy and love are possible even when walking through incredible trials, she is an inspiration to me. She inspires me to choose God's way even when my own way seems more sensible and natural. Her peace and freedom are evidence of the excellence of a life lived in love. The fact that she is just an ordinary woman living an extraordinary life of love is encouragement to all around her that with God, all things are indeed possible.