Vulgar Grace: Final Thoughts on All is Grace


“My life is a witness to vulgar grace — a grace that amazes as it offends. A grace that pays the eager beaver who works all day long the same wage as the grinning drunk who shows up at ten till five. A grace that hikes up the robe and runs breakneck toward the prodigal reeking of sin and wraps him up and decides to throw a party, no ifs, ands, or buts. A grace that raises bloodshot eyes to a dying thief’s request — ‘Please, remember me’ — and assures him, ‘You bet!’…This vulgar grace is indiscriminate compassion. It works without asking anything of us. It’s not cheap. It’s free, and as such will always be a banana peel for the orthodox foot and a fairy tale for the grown-up sensibility. Grace is sufficient even though we huff and puff with all our might to try and find something or someone that it cannot cover. Grace is enough. He is enough. Jesus is enough” (Brennan Manning).

I think grace offends most of us because we’re all about the American work ethic and pulling ourselves up by our own bootstraps and earning our own way and yada, yada, yada. Grace says that no, you did not earn God’s love but you got it anyway. Grace says that what you do deserve is exactly what you don’t get and be thankful for that.

I will love grace as long as I live because without it, I wouldn’t be alive. I wouldn’t be anything at all.

I hope that I can come close to writing about grace as well as Brennan Manning did. Of course, I’d rather not go through a lifetime of alcoholism and all the destruction it wrought in his life. But there are no convenient and easy paths when it comes to dispensing grace to others. It’s much easier to wish karma on to those who hurt others or (especially) us. Karma may appeal more to our ideas of justice, but when it comes to love, grace always wins hands down.

So, go read this book. I’ve even provided a link for you to go directly to amazon’s page to buy it. So there are no more excuses.

Now there’s no more crowds and no more lights,
still all is grace.
Now my eyes are wrapped in endless night,
still all is grace.
Now I pace the dark and sleep the day,
yet I still can hear my Father say –
‘all is grace’.

It was easy as a younger man
To squander in the far off land
Where sin is sin, like black is black.
But the older brother sin is white,
this doubt that creeps me up at night –
‘does Jesus love me still?’

Now I take my meds and hear the game,
still all is grace.
Now old friends drop in and bless my name,
still all is grace.
Now a prodigal I’ll always be
yet still my Father runs to me.
All is grace.”


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