Occasionally, however, it becomes abundantly clear that she is a lifelong mainliner in the midst of the Southern Baptist Convention. I was late getting back to work after lunch yesterday because of one of those moments as Beth, who admittedly comes from a place of deep woundedness, was coincidentally looking at the Romans passage that the RCL is using for Trinity Sunday.
Beth's focus was on the access to God that we receive through Jesus. For SHW, and myself, who grew up attending Sunday School and living in relatively healthy and loving families, our experience of the access to grace is a whole lot less miraculous that of Beth or anyone else who didn't grow up knowing God's love and the love of parents.
Our access is like going to the grocery store; the door automatically opens as you approach.
Beth's access is like entering the Delta Club in the Atlanta airport; you better know the code and have your platinum card ready.
In both cases, however, once you are in, you are in and you are welcome to stay.
For those of us who haven't had to work hard to access faith and grace, however, there is a word of caution - a reminder that for others, finding grace is hard, and we need to a) show that grace and b) be sympathetic to the struggle. Fortunately, we have the love of God poured into us by the Spirit to help us with both of those challenges.