Tonight I find myself watching the fallout of the failure of a friend. I am close enough to hear some of the tears and see fists clinch in anger. The arguments that spin off from such a failing are passionate and personal and reactive and arrogant. There are so many sides.
And yet, there in the middle of it all where I can’t even reach him, my friend sits alone. He’s alone with the haunting of his own foolishness. He’s alone with no right to expect anything different. He’s probably alone and afraid and angry and in agony of heart.
There are those tonight that smirk with righteous indignation that someone could do such a thing. Their minds echo the sentiment of the harvest principle – we reap what we sow (Galatians 6:7). They may have the self-awareness not to gloat over the justice served to another, but perhaps not.
The whole scene causes me to wonder; what might it have been like to have been a friend of David the king of Israel. He was renowned for his ferocity in battle and famous for his musical skill. Yet one day he chose to stay in the comfort of the palace instead of leading his warriors into battle.
He was restless from what may well have been an uneasy conscience knowing that many of his most loyal servants – his companions for many battles gone by – lie on the cold, hard ground this night because they were doing his work. A late night stroll on the roof of the palace led to a moment that would haunt him the rest of his days.
He saw his neighbor’s wife bathing in the moonlight. He did what he never would have thought he could. Then he ended up bringing about the murder of her husband in an effort to hide his mistake. But David learned a lesson he already knew; you just can’t hide from God.
When David’s failure came to light, the fallout was unimaginable. Many of his people died.
It was horrible. It was wrong. It was inexcusable.
But have you noticed that the Psalms that David had written were not stricken from the canon of Scripture? Have you noticed that, having paid the terrible price of the tragedy in his kingdom, David was still king?
Tonight I find myself hurting for my friend and mourning the price that will no doubt be paid for his failure. You see, I’ve been there. I have failed horribly and hurt many and paid dearly.
But I didn’t get what I deserved.
And so, I will cry with the hurting and listen to the angry and refrain from the arguing. But in the midst of it all, I must give to my friend what I have been given abundantly – grace.
It’s never been about deserving it – that’s what makes it grace.
“In [Christ] we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace.” Ephesians 1:7