Grace, the Bridge Across Troubled Waters

One of my favorite writers, Peggy Noonan had a column last week that attempted to provide a bridge across the troubled waters facing our country and its political impasse over Iraq. Her solution was grace. It is also God’s solution to the bridge over death to life. Indeed, without grace no real chasm can be crossed, whatever the cause of the divide.

Grace is unmerited favor, which bestows dignity on the other. Without that dignity it is impossible for opponents to have a place to meet, ground on which to listen, trust to find a path to mutual cooperation without denying the successes and failures on each side, since a truthful understanding of those successes and failures will be integral to any chance of going forward.

We must all take to heart that this is not a video game. We cannot just push reset and start over. This is life and death and there is so much more than political realities at stake, more than Republican or Democratic power. But how to see past those Washington realities to the larger picture of what is good for the country long term (short term itis could be the death of us as a nation), requires grace, abundant grace.

Sometimes, there is no exit from the required path, sometimes an exit is demanded. Knowing the difference is more than convenient, it may decide destiny. It is the province of the future, the misty moments no one, despite their claims to clarity, sees without error.

Separating the important from the essentially insignificant, the strategic from the tactical, the way to a livable, successful future for the vision that brought us into being as a country from that which may destroy us is not easy. The truth resides in pieces scattered across the political and philosophical landscape. There is no whole cloth solution, resident in one place, one position, but instead all of the answers are partial, hidden here and there, distributed within both camps. Some more here, some more there.

Only grace can draw those answers out, bring them together, use them to build the bridge across the chasm to span the troubled waters we face. Only God can supply that grace in the amount need. There is not nearly enough in the system, in the men and women who inhabit the positions of power. Only fervent prayer and intercession can stand in the gap between God and the need.

The need is vast, almost impossible. So then, who will stand? Who will answer the call made to Ezekiel?

And I sought for a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the breach before me for the land, that I should not destroy it, but I found none. Ezekiel 22:30

The land is in peril, in need of grace, of intercession, of those who would stand in the breach before the Lord for the sake of us all. Who will say, “Here I am, Lord, send me.”

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