To Rescue the Drowning with Grace

“So I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven; hence, she has shown great love.” Luke 7: 47
I knew something was wrong as I pulled over to pick my son up after school. He stood on the sidewalk of his elementary school and had a look of fear in his eyes.
He had gotten in trouble. He and some other boys were fooling around in the bathroom.
Noise and water. A scolding from the principal. Detention.
He was drowning in guilt and fear, anticipating my reaction.
I decided that he’d learned from the experience. I decided that the torment of having to confess to me was punishment enough.
I decided to show him grace.
I’m sure that he and his siblings could all come up with times I didn’t show grace. Times I could have, perhaps should have, but didn’t. In their adult years now, they can all admit there were times they received a due punishment and are better for it.
Grace is a tough call for a parent–for a grandparent as well.
As a five-year-old, Mark Batterson defied a well-established family rule. Don’t touch any of Grandfather’s rare collection of fossils.
But young Batterson just couldn’t resist the temptation of the forbidden. And the inevitable happened. He touched. He dropped. It broke.
“I’ll never forget the sense of foreboding as my grandfather walked in and assessed the situation,” he says in A Trip Around the Sun.
But his grandfather did not react as Mark expected.
“He just picked me up and held me close. Without using any words, he told me loud and clear: Mark, you are more valuable to me as my grandson than a dinosaur fossil could ever be. The foreboding was replaced by an overwhelming sense of being loved. It was my first glimpse of amazing grace” (25 emphasis Batterson’s).
But then there is a situation where grace didn’t happen.
Maddi Runkles is a pregnant, unmarried teen. She confessed her sin of sexual immorality to her Christian school four months ago. That moment may be her worst memory–her unforgettable sense of foreboding. Having to stand before adults and admit your wrongdoing–a wrongdoing you will not be able to hide much longer.
The school suspended her for two days for breaking a school rule. She knew she had broken a rule. She accepted the consequences.
And then they told her that she would not participate in graduation.
Graduation that would happen Four. Months. Later.
That’s like sending a child to her room four days after eating a cookie she was not supposed to have until after dinner.
Maddi confessed her sin and asked for forgiveness. And despite the lack of grace shown to her, she is turning her difficult experience into a way to help others in her situation.
Maddi intends to pursue a business degree in college and eventually start a non-profit ministry that will help teens “in my situation” and minister to those who’ve had abortions
“To let them know there’s life after that,” she says. Her maturity is impressive. It’s likely much of it came quickly these last few months.
Hers is the true Christian response in this situation.
So what will the next girl who falls into this kind of sin at Maddi’s school decide to do? She may just take the easy way out–or so she may think.
She may choose to add sin upon sin. And wound herself for the rest of her life. She may choose abortion.
And the greater shame would be on those who pretended they had no sin and threw a stone at Maddi Runkles.
Watch the CBN interview with Maddi.

Photo Credit:

Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way, do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, and you credit the author.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the entities I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

0 Replies to “To Rescue the Drowning with Grace”

  1. A great lesson here and an appropriate title.
    But, we must say: Christians need to proactively work to prevent abortions from happening. After the fact, healing can be offered, but that does not excuse the inactivity and apathy of Christians before the fact. A supposedly Christian nation that has accepted the daily killing of its children – what does God think of this?

    1. That we must work against abortion is certainly her point. Her enlarged belly proves that. She is receiving a negative consequence from Christian people for making a bad choice, but one followed by the right choice. Yet, abortions will happen and we have to be there for those women too.

  2. My Sister Nancy, I really enjoyed your blog post on grace which I believe helps us to understand as parents that we have to seek the Lord when we are to show mercy to our children and correction in love to them as well.

    1. Amen. Only God gives us the wisdom to know whether they need grace or discipline. Just as He does with us too! Thanks for commenting and God bless!

  3. Nancy, you’re so right that this young lady showed more maturity than her superiors. (What a tough situation for them, though.) I can’t wait to watch God continue to redeem this difficult situation in her life, for the blessing of many others! Only He can work all things together for God (even our sin) when it comes to those who love Him.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.