The Gospel and a Broken Windshield Wiper
June 25, 2009 § Leave a comment
While on vacation the right side windshield wiper on our rental car malfunctioned. And it just so happens that we are visiting during that time in Miami when it pours in the afternoon. It was one of those things where the rubber blade began to tear away from itself, like a long piece of black pasta flopping across the glass, soon to fall away and expose the metal casing that would eventually scrape the the windshield.
Going to the rental office was only the beginning of a journey that would take me back three times with various vendors in between, before finally being approved for the wiper to be replaced at no cost to me.
In the process I was reminded that there are some things we have to deal with in our lives – some things we can’t ignore and chalk up to the ‘cheap grace’ Dietrich Bonhoeffer speaks to in his amazing book, The Cost of Discipleship.
The fact is that when they go bad windshield wipers have to be replaced – it is an undeniable safety precaution– it has to be done. And it is equally true that there are corners of our lives that can’t remain unattended to: attitudes – mindsets – positions, you name it. When I am honest I have to admit that there are some things I prefer to hold on to. I don’t let go of bitterness without a fight. I’m prone to wallow in selfish behavior. Pride and ego stalk me wherever I go – and I let them! It’s a long list, really.
The Gospel demands more – not perfection, but surrender – the admission of one’s weakness and the admission of one’s self to the daily process of being, ‘transformed by the renewal of your minds’ (Romans 12:2), which bears the fruit of a continuing and flourishing relationship with the Father.
It is really all about relationship. And the reality of this relationship means that there are some things in our lives we can’t be content to settle for. Because while living in a broken world explains our brokenness, it doesn’t excuse our sin, in the same way that being unfinished doesn’t preclude the finishing work of God in our lives. What they do is point us to Jesus who transforms us, not with heavy handed condemnation but with nail-scarred palms, that bear evidence to His commitment to hold us in love and grace, even as He continuously enters into our lives and He prepares the Table for the Feast we will one day share.
Friends, this is good news.