As a 17-year-old, Anne Graham Lotz, the daughter of Ruth and Billy Graham, was involved in a car accident. Speeding carelessly down a windy mountain road, Anne wrecked her car into that of a neighbor, Mrs. Pickering. When she arrived home, she tried to avoid her father, but there he was, standing in the kitchen.
Anne tells what happened next:
I paused for what seemed a very long moment frozen in time. Then I ran to him and threw my arms around his neck …. I told him about my wreck—how I’d driven too fast and smashed into the neighbor’s car. I told him it wasn’t her fault; it was all mine. As I wept on his shoulder, he said four things to me:
“Anne, I knew all along about your wreck. Mrs. Pickering came straight up the mountain and told me—and I was just waiting for you to come and tell me yourself.”
“I love you.”
“We can fix the car.”
“You are going to be a better driver because of this.”
Anne says, “My father gave me a deeper understanding of what it means to experience the loving, forgiving embrace of my heavenly Father.”
What if I could be that source of mercy, grace, love and kindness for my family? For my community? This is what it means to live in view of the cross as a missional disciple of Jesus, isn’t it? Not merely experiencing grace, but extending it, too.
If you want to change the world, this just might be a good place to begin.
Adapted from Anne Graham Lotz, Wounded by God’s People (Zondervan, 2013), pp. 155-156.