My absolute favorite thing about God right now is that He is completely everything. Even things that seem opposite, like justice and mercy, He is both, totally. He is every single good thing, completely.
It’s like a giant puzzle that never makes sense, but keeps getting better. Like an M.C. Escher tessellation that keeps going forever in every direction. It’s totally black and totally white. The stairs go up forever and down forever. Everything is totally in and totally out.
It’s paradoxical, but it makes complete sense. It’s mind-boggling, but reassuring.
God is the Rock of Ages, the same yesterday, today, and forever. He is immovable.
But He is also compassionate, affected by our plights and our prayers.
How improbable that immovability and compassion could coexist! But they do. He is immovable, yet moved. He is immovably compassionate.
I mean, come on.
This is my favorite thing about God right now. His wild, perfect fullness. His totally surprising, upside down, never-ending God-ness.
And of all the paradoxical fullnesses of God, the one that I am dwelling on the most these days is this:
“We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14
Jesus is full of grace, and full of truth. He’s not 50% grace and 50% truth. He is completely grace and completely truth.
This is what I’m after in my life – to be full of grace and full of truth, like Jesus.
In every interaction I want to speak truth. I don’t want to spin it or omit it or exaggerate it. I want to just tell the truth and let it stand on its own two feet. I want to speak the truth when it’s beautiful and hope-filled. I want to be the bearer of great news, a vessel full of happiness and joy. I want to be a bright spot. But I also want to speak the truth when it’s hard. When, as Teddy Roosevelt said, my voice shakes. When truth-telling might have some consequences. When I’m scared absolutely TO DEATH. I want so speak it firmly, unapologetically, and without defense. I want to be the same, all the way to my core. Imperfect and bumped and bruised and generally a massive embarrassment – but an honest one. I want to tell the whole, honest, immovable, actual truth.
I also want to be full of grace. I want love and favor to pour out of me like a river. I want to be marked by mercy. I want to listen to people so tenderly, and treat their secret hopes and hurts and selves with such care that they dare to believe that they matter. That they are seen and loved.
Some of us are inclined to unashamed, unmitigated truth-telling. That part comes naturally, and we must be nudged in the direction of grace.
Some of us are inclined to be tender – to extend the benefit of the doubt one million times, and turn one million cheeks. We must be nudged in the direction of truth-telling.
God embodies both, perfectly. He is FULL of grace and FULL of truth.
He is wildly, perfectly, completely, purely God.
Full of grace and full of truth.
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father's side, he has made him known.” John 1:14, 16-18