During training, we (the other mission intern and US-2’s) created an intentional community. On our first full day together, we brainstormed what we wanted this community to look like. I suggested that we offer grace to one another which means giving people space to mess up without judgement and controlling our reactions to someone’s misstep. Training involved long hours, hard conversations about tough topics, hunger, exhaustion, heat and differing opinions. So, I knew that tempers would run high especially my own. Offering grace become extremely important in these conditions because we will need to rely on this support system for the next three years, so we couldn’t spend three weeks angry at each other.
God gives us grace unconditionally. We can do absolutely nothing to earn it. So we must show each other grace. Maybe if we all offered a little more grace instead of hatred and anger, we could get something accomplished in this country. Offering grace does not mean ignoring problems and skating over issues, but it does mean taking a step back, thinking about where the person is coming from, and offering to listen to his or her argument. We will never all agree, but we can listen and maybe by listening, we can learn from each other and find middle ground that will allow us to move forward.
During training, “offer grace” became my mantra. As I move into this next phase of my life, I will continue to offer grace to those around me. I will not always succeed but I can keep trying!