Roll away your stone, I'll roll away mine

The lyrics to this song have been playing over in my head for a few weeks now.  These lines in particular:
It seems as if all my bridges have been burned
You say that’s exactly how this grace thing works
It’s not the long walk home that will change this heart
But the welcome I receive at the restart 
I’m not going to pretend that I am inside this song writer’s head at all, but I’ve been mulling over what exactly he may mean in these lyrics, and in this whole song.  I don’t wanna over spiritualize the song because it’s not a Christian band but at the same time, I know that the band members at one time or another were all followers of Christ, regardless of what their current beliefs are.  That being said, let’s talk about these lyrics for a few minutes.
There’s a part of me that thinks that this song is about grace within a community and maybe the way that people interact with each other.  That line that says, “You say that’s exactly how this grace thing works” in response to his saying that he feels like all his bridges are burned … that line has been etched into my mind these last couple weeks.  So last night, while listening to this band, I decided to feel out what my friends thought of this lyric.  So I found the exact lyrics and asked for thoughts.
“It kind of sounds a little Prodigal Son-y”
I thought about this some and came to the conclusion that she was right.  I’m not sure that it was the long walk of shame back to his father that helped to change the heart of the son, but rather the welcome he got when he admitted it was time for a new start.  That’s how this grace thing works.
Then I started thinking about it within community.  How do we play out this grace thing in community?  I mean our eternal life depends on our personal relationship with Jesus and the Lord but for some people, they need to see how this grace thing works on earth, with real people.  So then I begin to wonder about how grace plays out with those around us.
See grace is tricky.  I think it is something you learn to be good at.  I think it takes a lot of trial and error.  But I also don’t think we ever really master it.  I think it’s something best lived out in community, honest hard messy community.  Because I think for us to really be able to be a community, to show each other grace, it requires a vulnerability that is hard.  A vulnerability that puts us at risk of getting hurt.
The problem with that vulnerability is that we are just sheep, as Jesus calls us.  It’s not a compliment, it’s more of a scapegoat.  Sheep are dumb animals, they need a leader to show them where to go.  And sometimes, sheep bite each other.  They don’t really know they’re doing it or why they’re doing it but it happens.  And sometimes, we as people bite each other without meaning it, without trying or knowing why.  We are just sheep being sheep.
And that fact makes it hard to have grace with each other.  Because the bites are painful and they hurt.  And sometimes we tend to shut down after they happen, but that’s not how this grace thing works.  We have to learn to give grace unconditionally and continue to give ourselves.  Continue to walk alongside others in the midst of the crap that we do to each other.
But that’s hard.  and at times it feels like it’s not worth it.  It feels like we need to shut down when we get hurt.  It feels like we have to put that stone back so as to prevent that hurt from ever happening again.  But we have to fight that.  We have to try and continue to let people in enough to hurt us.
This is no easy task.  It’s hard.  And I have no answers as to how to do it well considering it’s something I struggle with.  But I think it’s worth thinking about at the very least.

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