Posted in Christian, Personal Musings, Stories Around the World

Reaching the Crossbar

Grace is one of the concepts of Christianity which is quite hard to comprehend in real life. In Western Christian theology, grace has often been defined, not as a substance of any kind which is created, but as “the love and mercy given to us by God because God desires us to have it not necessarily because of anything we have done to earn it”. In other words Grace is described as favour, the free and undeserved help that God gives us to respond to his call to become children of God, adoptive sons, partakers of the divine nature and of eternal life. It is understood to be a spontaneous gift from God to people “generous, free and totally unexpected and undeserved” that takes the form of divine favor, love, clemency, and a share in the divine life. In Eastern Christianity, the working of God completely, not a created substance of any kind that can be treated like a commodity is what Grace is all about.

Although across the different denominations of Christianity, the definition varies the essential concept that it is not created but bestowed on. On reading the Bible we realize that although man has sinned, it is by His Love and His Mercy that we have been given a second chance. More importantly it is by His Grace that despite our lapses and our adherence to the shortcuts of living the right way, we are given another try.

While teaching the concepts of Christian principles to younger children, it is quite difficult to say in terms of definitions. So here is a story that I had seen through my social pages, (though it is translated into English) that gives us an idea about the concept of His Grace.

“Once after the second liturgy, I was drinking tea with a bun. Suddenly, a father came up to the table with a son of about five years old. The boy’s face didn’t seem bright to me. It seemed to be one of those children who are interested only in MARS and SNICKERS and how to get them from their parents. But suddenly the boy looked anxiously at his parent and asked: “Dad, tell me what grace is.”
Hearing this with surprise, I almost choked on tea, urgently stopped chewing and froze, so as not to miss a word. Let me explain why. First, I myself was not clear what grace is. Second, I was wondering how to explain this to another. And third, it was completely incomprehensible to me how to explain this to a five-year-old child. That’s why I froze waiting for to see what reply the dad will say. He twisted his eyes in a funny manner and said to his son: “I better not tell you, but I will show you what grace is.” And they went to our sports ground. And I followed them. “Jump to the high crossbar,” said the dad. It became clear to me that the boy would not jump to reach it in any way. And for sure as he jumped and he was convinced of this. “And now you jump, and I will add grace,” said the parent. The boy jumped, his father’s hands caught him and in a moment he … WAS STANDING on the crossbar. The boy squealed with delight and told the father that he did not agree to live without grace anymore. And me too. Thank God! – Yuri Klyagin”