Good question. How do we do this thing called grace and truth, together, in balance? How?
First of all, with prayer.
Then with confession, thanksgiving and praise.
Thanksgiving that we can, praise of the One who makes it so we can, and prayer to guide us along. Without those we can only be a resounding gong and a clanging cymbal.
But if you're a visual learner like I am, I may have a tool you can use.
When I was writing the stories for Approaching the Throne of Grace, God was teaching me and showing me what faith looks like. Big faith, small faith, no faith, weak faith, strong faith, fake faith. As the characters in the stories started to develop I told him, "This is cool. This is how I have seen you work. You don't bop people on the head with your word and a ruler, you come in gently, quietly, so subtly that we come close to missing you."
So, when the stories started to take shape and be born into something totally opposite of what I had planned, God just shined.
So let me tell you a little bit about these characters and how you may or may not relate to some, none or all of them. Remember, you don't have to read the book front to back. You can jump in on any page or letter of the alphabet. The characters visit other characters and you may find yourself going back to one story to get a better understanding of a character in their own story.
This is how you may relate:
If you suffer anxiety or emotional disorders, Abby may be a light for you.
If you are in the early stages of "Now What?", Ben may give you some direction.
If you suffer with OCD, perfectionism and all those little fears, Candy may prove helpful.
If you are lamenting the state of your country, you and David may find some common threads.
If you suffer with physical ailments, you'll find Ella knows exactly what you're feeling.
If you are afraid of failure in any form - Frank and you are related.
If you are tired of being fake, so is Glenda.
If you are adopted, have adopted or feel a calling to adopt, you may find some peace and confirmation in Henry's story.
If you have believed you can have it all and know that you don't, Irene can relate.
If you wonder how in the world the United States goes forward in light of our justice system, Jeff may give you some insight.
If you just don't know what to believe about anything, read Kelly's story.
If you are overcome with loneliness, Larry's been there.
If you are the glue that holds your family together and you're tired of that role, Margaret has a story for you.
If you are wondering how you stay in a job that clearly goes against your cultural and spiritual beliefs, Ned can relate.
If you are wondering why you have suffered the tragedies you've suffered, Ora can share her story of tragedy into triumph.
If you are trying to be light in a secular world, Pete meets someone who can show you where to start.
If you are a leader in a church, bible study or any other type of ministry and want to know which way to turn, Queen Esther taught Craig where you may start.
If you are tired of doing the right thing with no reward, Robert can relate.
If you have given all to have all and you still have conflict in your relationships, Stephanie can relate.
If you are a biker, babe or boozer, Tom is the guy for you.
If you want to know how to live out your faith, in even the most difficult of circumstances, you'll need to meet Ursula.
If you want to leave the life that you just were born into and knew of no way out, Vincent can show you the door.
If you are having trouble making sense of what you have seen, experienced or been done to you and you want justice, Wayne's been there too.
If you want to taste the fruit of childlike faith, Xavier is holding the basket.
If you want to let go and let God, Yolanda knows what that is like.
If you want to see the effect of the good news on a regular joe schmo life, Zeke is the story for you.
These stories may give you a starting place to How.
Approaching the Throne of Grace