And a note: the Red Scarf Project provides handmade scarves for orphan college students who have aged out of the foster system. Shift is my contribution to that - a scarf for a student, and a pattern so that others may also be inspired to warm, not just a body, but a heart, as well. A reminder that we are all invited into a global, eternal family by a Father who will never leave us or forsake us.
I'm annoyed by the person who cuts me off in traffic. I would never drive like that. I look down on someone because of the way they speak or dress. How careless! I'm offended by the person breathing down my neck in the check-out line. They can't have anywhere that important to be. I make a flash judgement about the parent of the screaming toddler in Target. My child will never be that child. I roll my eyes when a sister in Christ complains about another sister. Tsk, tsk! Gossipy!
My focus needs to shift - away from me, my convenience, my preferences, my needs. Onto the convenience and preferences and needs of others, and (most of all) onto Christ. Onto His commands, His words, His grace.
Because we all need Jesus.
For every day, every moment, every second, for every breath and every good thing. Grace isn't something that we only needed while we were yet sinners (although, we most definitely needed it then, and must remember to extend that same hope to the hopeless around us, instead of being angry because the lost behave as though they are lost) but something we need for our continued existence.
It's grace that adopted us, grafting us into God's family... God is our Father. And that should be motivation enough to extend grace to others.
"But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons... So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God." [Galatians 4:4-5, 7]