Intersection Column | How Big Is God’s Grace?
by Kimberly Duffy
I’ve been a Christian my entire life. One of my earliest memories is of little five-year-old me sitting on the edge of my bed, asking Jesus into my heart. I spent my childhood going to VBS and teen years in youth group and taking mission trips. I’ve mostly read through the Bible. I can answer Bible trivia and understand the difference between a complementarian and egalitarian.
But there’s something about the Christian life that has always baffled me. I just cannot wrap my head around it.
And how big Christ’s is.
Maybe it’s because I can be a pretty rigid, black and white thinker. Maybe because forgiveness seems so contrary to human nature. Maybe because I’ve never been wronged enough to have to really stretch the amount I offer.
Whatever the reason, I’m a little obsessed with exploring it. Is God’s grace big enough to cover (fill in the blank sin)? What about (fill in the blank even bigger sin)? I’ve never really identified with the heroine in Christian novels whose greatest weakness is, I don’t know…not trusting people. Maybe trusting the wrong people. Or maybe they have a Big Secret in their past and they need to forgive themselves. Or be brave enough to reveal it. I mean, my own life—one that’s been dedicated to God since childhood—is pocked with sin. I’m sure my future will be too.
So what about the characters—the people—who make massive mistakes? Who sin on a grand scale? Is God’s grace enough for them? What if they do it on the page and readers become a little disgusted with them? Does God’s love cover them?
In my newest novel, The Weight of Air, a character makes a pretty poor choice. In her mind, it’s selflessness. But there are rippling repercussions. The one she loves most is forced to carry a heavy burden. And then, years later, she makes another poor choice. It’s self-preservation. But people are hurt. God’s law is betrayed.
Yet still…God’s grace.
It takes her a little bit—some time, some pain, some doubt—to recognize that, despite her frailty and blunders, she is loved. She is wholly desired by the One who spoke the cosmos into being. That she isn’t defined by what she’s done. The mistakes she’s made. That she doesn’t have to be what she’s always thought she was.
We cannot out-sin God’s grace. Christ’s blood covers our sin. It’s marvelous. Amazing. Awesome. And there’s no real way to show the depth and breadth and astounding beauty of it without showing the depth and breadth and ugliness of our wickedness. There’s beauty in redemption. And maybe more importantly, there’s hope in it.
About the Author
Kimberly Duffy is a Long Island native currently living in southwest Ohio. When she’s not homeschooling her four kids, she writes historical fiction that takes her readers back in time and across oceans. She loves trips that require a passport, recipe books, and practicing kissing scenes with her husband of twenty-three years. He doesn’t mind. Learn more at kimberlyduffy.com.
About the Book
When Mabel MacGinnis’s father dies unexpectedly, she sets off in the company of acrobat Jake Cunningham in hope of finding the mother she thought was dead. As Mabel and her mother’s lives become entangled beneath the glittering lights and flying trapeze of Madison Square Garden, their resiliency and resolve are tested as they learn the truth of what it means to be strong.
Did You Know?
The tiny nation of Denmark produced some of the biggest stories of World War II. While researching my latest novel, The Sound of Light, I was fascinated by what I learned.
The Germans overran Denmark in a matter of hours on April 9, 1940. Since the Germans considered the Danes “fellow Aryans,” they made the nation a “model protectorate,” allowing freedoms unseen in other occupied countries.
Resistance developed slowly—but well. Because of excellent living conditions, few wanted to resist at first. But by late 1943, the Danish resistance was growing in popularity and effectiveness. The Danish Freedom Council united the various groups, coordinated well with the Allies, and gave the movement an element of respectability.
·Almost all Danish Jews survived. The Danish government refused to enact antisemitic laws, and Jews never had to wear the yellow star. But on the night of October 1-2, 1943, the Germans planned to round up all 7,000 Jews in Denmark. However, German shipping attaché Georg Duckwitz leaked the information to Danish leaders. In a massive grassroots campaign, the Danish people hid their Jewish neighbors and then transported them by boat across to Sweden. The Germans only arrested 474 Jews, of whom 58 perished, the lowest death rate in occupied Europe.
The Danish people in World War II serve as an inspiration to all of us to be courageous and compassionate, and to stand firm in the face of hatred.
-Sarah Sundin, The Sound of Light
Why I LOVE My Local Christian Bookstore
“I love Christian bookstores because not only do I love actually holding a book and inspecting it; but also, I love cards that bring the Good News!”
-Ted Baehr, How to Succeed in Hollywood (Without Losing Your Soul)