But God (a favorite phrase) has shown me time and again since my re-entering society that there is something I can do; that grace can be extended to me in various ways in and out of the Church, that I am not forever condemned or to be discarded because of my past. There have been examples of trust extended to me by businesses and other organizations that amazed me; indeed recently such a level of trust was given me that I all but cried to realize that I was truly becoming (as my wife once phrased it) an ex-ex-felon. No longer tainted with the brush that so many would always paint me despite the work of God in my heart to create a new man within and of me, but emerging as from a chrysalis new and hopeful of service to others and to my God. Whether in my volunteer work with such organizations as Our Children’s Place, the USO-NC or my friends at Go Realty who continue to encourage and support me, even in those who have helped and supported me as I launch my new photography business; in a myriad of ways I have been shown incredible grace and being, as the writer of Hebrews stated, “…surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses…” (Hebrews 12:1 ESV),
What brought all of this into focus recently was a series of lessons by Chuck Swindoll (Insight for Living) from 2 Samuel, specifically on the son of David’s beloved friend Jonathan, a man named Mephibosheth. Crippled as a youth when his nurse was fleeing from the expected wrath of the new king (David) upon the death of the old (Saul), he lived an isolated and seemingly forgotten life in a place called Lo-debar which, when you look at the Hebrew, gives meaning to the Beatle’s song, He’s a Real Nowhere Man. This son of Jonathan could expect nothing more than summary execution by David as he sought to remove all potential competition to his throne, but an amazing thing happens. David has Mephibosheth brought from nowhere to the throne room where he finds not judgment and death, but grace and life in the court of the king! Why? What could this son of Jonathan add to the court, what service could Mephibosheth render to the king to make his addition to the court worthwhile?
Nothing, nada, zip, zilch, zero.
Despite his being a cripple, his not being able to “do” anything to aid the crown, David includes him in his inner circle, treating him as equal to one of his own sons! Did not our King and Savior treat us all equally gracefully? Spiritually crippled by the fall, prone to abandon His call at odd times to pursue the questionable pleasures of this life and world, weak and wandering yet our King pursues us and brings us into His court to live with Him forever! As a loving parent playing ‘tea’ with a beloved daughter or watching with pride as a son hammers away at some nails and wood, we are included in His work not because of our ability or holiness, but because of His great love and grace. Yeah, I am Mephibosheth; are not we all?