Wednesday, April 6, 2016

The Backpack: A Parable of Grace

About two months and $27,000 ago, my brother sat next to me in my room, with a pinched, anxious look on his face. "I'm just worried that this thing is going to become about me... I don't want that. I don't want to become overwhelmed by the organizing and the details and the spotlight, and the weight of being the Point of all this..."

In case you've been living under a rock lately, "this thing" Kevan was referring to is a campaign that he and his friends were just beginning, called "We Carry Kevan." You can visit their page... or read/watch basically any major newscast in the world (literally)... to learn the details of this now and become a part of it. But before it was a famous global campaign, it was Kevan's dream to do some things he physically cannot do alone. And before it was a viral internet sensation, it was a commitment that Kevan's friends made, to help him fulfill his dream. (By the way, if that seems vaguely familiar to you, check out Luke 5:18-20.)

When Kevan shared his concerns with me, I tried to be patient and sensitive, and then I said, "But Kevan! The whole Point of it all is that it's NOT about you! The Point is, you CAN'T do any of this on your own... the Point is, you need others - we need each other. And just because your name is on it doesn't make you the Point. You are the object, not the subject!" (Side note for the word-nerds: "We" is the active subject, "Carry" is the action that the subject does, and "Kevan" is the passive object - the one being carried. So really, it about the ones who are doing the carrying.) "So, just relax and enjoy the ride. Your role in all this is to be the receiver of this awesome gift, and to tell the amazing story."

I've been trying to understand GRACE more this year. I think maybe it's some kind of powerful, potent, magical, dangerous, life-changing, world-changing thing, and I'm on a quest to try to somehow grasp more of it. Do you know Jesus didn't really talk about grace? I mean, in the Bible he didn't ever have a sermon on the topic of grace, he didn't outline the five steps to having or receiving grace... but actually, he talked about grace all the time - he lived grace. His parables and miracles and interactions all sparkle with grace, because grace is not a textbook term, it is a living story.

"We Carry Kevan" is a parable of grace. It's a cripple in a backpack, leaning and depending and trusting on others to carry him when he cannot take a single step on his own. It demonstrates our personal limitations and inadequacies, and our desperation for something bigger, stronger, and more than ourselves.  It's a group of friends who offer strength where it is lacking, and who share a burden in order to experience deeper joy together. It is a message of hope and abundance beyond what we can ever earn or deserve.

It's a picture of Jesus Christ, lifting us out of that broken, dark, hopeless curse of sin, and lavishing us with a deluge of forgiveness and redemption and favor. He is the one who sees us, hears us, knows us, saves us, loves us... and yes, carries us. We are just the objects, the receivers and witnesses of his amazing grace. He is the subject - and it is all about Him.

1 comment:

  1. Absolutely perfect and beautiful! Thank you Connie for sharing this. Lulu