John had insisted that it was very very important for both Courtney and I to attend court yesterday. So we figured out a way to make it work and got there at 10:25 for a 10:30 hearing. After listening to 8 or 9 other cases, his was finally heard at about 11:30.
He had told us that we needed to be there to hear the truth. Well, this hearing was simply a hearing requesting a drop in bail (which the judge denied) and asking that the omnibus hearing be scheduled within 28 days (which the judge ordered). And then it was over. 4 short minutes took up my whole morning. Sigh.
It was interesting being in court though. Anyone can go sit in the courtroom and listen to hearings all day long if they wish. They are public hearings. But most of the stuff is just a bunch of people who made some dumb mistakes. Probation violations, driving without a license, etc. People who have hard lives and who are difficult... yes, because of their own choices, but we never know what led to those choices.
I was talking to Kyle about his brothers the other night and he is SO MUCH like I was at his age. At his age I was so sure that I had somehow earned God's grace by all my good choices and hard work. I was mentioning that he could give his brothers a little grace and he actually said the words, "I'm not giving any grace to people who don't deserve it."
I laughed out loud.
I said, "Do you know what the definition of grace is? It's unmerited favor. That's the whole point. Grace is getting things we don't deserve."
He said he wasn't God and that he wasn't quite ready to do that. I told him I understood that. But life looks a whole lot different at 48 than it does at 25 ... at least it should.
I get now that I couldn't earn grace. I didn't deserve it. It was a gift. And my self-righteousness and judgmental spirit (not to say that Kyle has one, but confessing that I did) was just as wrong in God's sight as the "big sins" that I was judging.
Who knows where I would be if it wasn't for God's grace. I don't even want to know. But it's my plan to offer it everyone -- ESPECIALLY the ones who deserve it the least.
Grace. It's a thought that changed the world. It finds goodness in everything.