Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The worst thing that could happen is grace.

Can you imagine it?

The worst possible thing that could ever happen...has happened.

All your dreams, dashed!

All your hopes, faded...

You are young.

You are from a less than desirable community.

You are engaged.

You are madly in love with this man.

You are just learning things about the biology of your own body.

You are pregnant.

And the father of this baby? Not the man to whom you're engaged. Not the man to whom your dreams are joined at the hip.

You are going to have a baby and its not his baby.

Everyone's heard this story, this way so many times.

The poor, marginalized, unwed teen, pregnant with someone else's baby.

You've heard that story.

But can you imagine it?

All this weight and pressure on such young shoulders...

The worst possible thing that could ever happen...has happened.

This is the kind of thing that makes melodramatic writers pen words like "her greatest dreams became her worst nightmare."

But that's what happened.

If you were a teenage girl and you had these incredible dreams of love and escape...what worse thing could happen to you?

Pregnant and its not even the fiance's baby.


Put yourself in that dark bedroom on that fretful sleepless night.

He's going to leave. And he's going to do so with complete justification.

You know how guys are afraid of commitment (which is an unfair blanket statement, but gives lazy writers a good fall-back in a storyline) and now he's got an easy out!

There's a dream dashed.

And now you're the scandal of this already unfortunate region, Nazareth.

People are going to point, stare and talk about you behind your back.

The worst possible thing that could ever happen...has happened.

And as you lay there in tearful worry, fear and isolation...alone with you thoughts, suddenly you're alone no more...

A celestial, vaporish being shines in your darkness.

And speaks.

"Do not be afraid, Mary..."

The first words spoken tonight spoken not in desperate fear, telling you not to be afraid.

What absurdity!

What paradoxical absurdity!

"Don't be afraid..."

Of your now shattered future?

Of this rising-sun-like apparition standing at the foot of your bed?

I mean, really?

Don't be afraid?

But then a warm piercing blade of peace penetrates your oppressive worry...

"Don't be afraid.."

A deep, clean breath releases into a calm exhaling of those age-inappropriate burdens.

"Breathe, little girl...its going to be okay..."

But wait! You're still pregnant! The worst possible thing that could ever happen...has happened. It STILL has happened.

"Deal with that, Angel-man!" you think...because you're still pregnant and its still not Joseph's kid!

Then the angel continues the ridiculous talk.

"... you have found favor with God."


With God?

Yes, this thing that has happened to you...this worst possible thing that could ever happen...is actually God showing you his FAVOR!


The Greek word the angel spoke to Mary: Charis.

Favor in English.

Charis in Greek.

Charis, a word translated many times in the New Testament as grace.

"Mary, God has shown you grace."

What Mary, in her current state, viewed as the worst thing that could ever happen to her...

What at that time in her history seemed to be the thing that robbed her of her dreams and future...

Was actually God showing grace (favor) to her and all creation.

It didn't really rob her of her dreams and future...it was actually the granting of Mary's, along with all creation, dreams and future.

It secured her place in history.

Where are you today?

What has happened that you would describe as the "worst thing that could ever happen?"

That thing, that tragedy, that theft of your dreams...could possibly be your loving, gentle, gracious Daddy showing you his favor, his charis, his grace.

Have hope.

What is the worst pain you've ever known, could be the changing of history for you, as well as all creation.


  1. Amazing Ollie!! very very good and such a good thought to have!
    love, Jake

  2. Ollie....That made me cry! Grace....I wish so much grace is understood and accepted by more this year and catches on like wildfire! I love that you love words. God has certainly blessed you in so many ways and your use of words is one of them. You are one of the richest men I know, Ollie. Forbes magazine has nothing on you!
    Your TD sister, KCarla

  3. This is fantastic! You're a great writer!!! Love your style. :o) Keep 'em coming!