|Bernilli blooms in the Garden of Grace|
These verses form part of a poem where Rachel, symbolizing the quintessential bereaved mother, represents the ancient Israelite generation whose children are in exile, and Ephraim, historically, her grandson, represents the repentant exiled. I know what it is to be in Ephraim's place, far away from God, far from feeling like a favored or respected child. At such times, I have tried to bargain and plead with God. My voice and words are quite different in each case. When I plead, its a voice of shame and repentance; when I bargain I'm much more demanding or cajoling, filled with a sense of entitlement. It took me awhile to understand that even when I have been disciplined or in disgrace, I am held by his grace. This is not a binary state where disgrace is the exact opposite of grace and never the twain shall meet! I may have lost favor, respect, and be in a position of humiliation but God's loving-kindness is always with me. Grace, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.
Prayer: Lord, help us see your grace even in our disgrace, suffering, sorrow and repentance. Amen.