Fitting In

Because salvation is by grace through faith, I believe that among the countless number of people standing in front of the throne and in front of the Lamb, dressed in white robes and holding palms in their hands (see Revelation 7:9), I shall see the prostitute from the Kit-Kat Ranch in Carson City, Nevada, who tearfully told me that she could find no other employment to support her two-year-old son. I shall see the woman who had an abortion and is haunted by guilt and remorse but did the best she could faced with grueling alternatives; the businessman besieged with debt who sold his integrity in a series of desperate transactions; the insecure clergyman addicted to being liked, who never challenged his people from the pulpit and longed for unconditional love; the sexually abused teen molested by his father and now selling his body on the street, who, as he falls asleep each night after his last ‘trick’, whispers the name of the unknown God he learned about in Sunday school.

‘But how?’ we ask.

Then the voice says, ‘They have washed their robes and have made them white in the blood of the Lamb.’

There they are. There we are – the multitude who so wanted to be faithful, who at times got defeated, soiled by life, and bested by trials, wearing the bloodied garments of life’s tribulations, but through it all clung to faith.

My friends, if this is not good news to you, you have never understood the gospel of grace.  ~ Brennan Manning


There I’ll be, a part of the multitude who so wanted to be faithful, who at times got defeated, soiled by life, and bested by trials, wearing the bloodied garments of life’s tribulations, but through it all clung to faith.

Here I am, clinging to the Good News, the gospel of grace, longing for the day when I trade in these tattered, bloodied bits of cloth for ones that never can again be stained. With the desperate, the guilt ridden, the remorseful, the compromising, the weak, the weary…with these brothers and sisters I’ll fit right in!


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About Debbie

A former counselor and public speaker, I'm grateful for many, many things - God's grace most of all!

36 responses to “Fitting In”

  1. jelillie says :

    Won’t we all fit in with such a crowd Deb? For we are the crowd; Some of us just don’t want to admit it in front of others. I am graced into Heaven I will obtain it by no other means. If ever I thought differently God has done away with all those illusions and I am glad!

  2. Debbie says :

    Dearest Caddo –
    I love that! Yes, me, too! Pour on the grace, Lord – pour it on me and out of me so there’s less and less of me and more and more of you spilling over! :D
    Your Sis,
    ~ Debbie

  3. Caddo Veil says :

    Oh wow, Sis–this one got me weepy this morning, but they’re tears of His Grace washing over me. So many good points in the message and comments here– worth repeated readings. I definitely know how it can wear you out, trying to fit somewhere–anywhere. And I love the word about sin-size, as opposed to the size of the consequences–WOW. Before I had any “smarts” whatsoever about God’s truth, I used to comfort myself by saying, “well, at least I never did such ‘n such”–the comparison thing. Now, I don’t do that–instead I just pray, “Pour on the Grace, Lord–Please pour it on me”.

  4. Debbie says :

    Katharine and Jen –
    Just jumping in here… ;)

    I wonder if Katharine’s friend’s struggle isn’t, or possibly wasn’t, based on the fact that she thought there were BIG sins and little sins.

    Sin is sin (in my opinion).

    There are BIG CONSEQUENCES and sometimes little or seemingly no discernible consequences (expect to the soul, which is so easy to overlook).

    I think it’s a sad when someone feels like they have a better message if they’ve done something that makes a more riveting revival story.
    Equally, I think it’s sad when someone thinks they have a better message when they ‘haven’t fallen so far’.

    There is just one Message.

    “The Lord does not look at the things human beings look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” I Samuel 16:7b

    I think that was Brennan’s point when he said: “My friends, if this is not good news to you, you have never understood the gospel of grace.”

    We’re all in equal need of the exact same amount of grace. :D

    Love to you both,
    ~ Debbie

    • iamnotshe says :

      OK, Jen, KT and Debbie. Debbie, you are so bloody wise. That’s all i gotta say. I love to see debate, and i love the way Deb can simplify. HOWEVER, not to say that is “simple”.

      The most beautiful songs written are those that include the fewest notes, and the most beautiful prose. Think about the Beatles.

      With lots of clatter and clanging it’s easy to be fancy and “interesting” … but not soothing and beautiful. That music doesn’t speak to my heart.

      OK mixing metaphors, and i’m still sleepy! We’re all in this together? I’m in! LOVE to you guys … complex, simple, wise and wonderful. Harper Power! Arf.

  5. katharinetrauger says :

    I once knew a lady who felt somehow like not a very good testimony because she came to saving faith in Jesus Christ when she was a small child, was raised in a loving, REAL Christian home, and never veered from her love for Jesus, in any large ways. She felt like she was not a very good example of the saving power of Jesus because He did not have to save her from any heinous sin. She would speak at retreats, etc., but always apologized that she did not have some wowie testimony . . .

    • Step On a Crack says :

      Hello there!

      I have to say that the people I have met who are like the woman you describe are the ones who left me longing for a deeper relationship with my God.

      THAT is the Wowiest Testimony of all!

      XO Jen

      • katharinetrauger says :

        Oh, I know it, Jen! We need more like her!

        Eventually she was able to see something,though: That Jesus had saved her from the bigger sins, but just before she did them, instead of after. Once she saw that she COULD have gone there, she realized more how much He had saved her from.

        God is good all the time. :)

      • Step On a Crack says :

        So are you….

        XXOO Jen

  6. Heidi says :

    I was caught by Brennan right at the end of my drinking days. I believe it was by design that I started to see how pointless it is to keep trying to fix self with self. He helped me acknowledge a hunger for a deeper trip with Christ.

    I chuckle at your title. Normally I wouldn’t read anything about fitting in. No point.

    “My friends, if this is not good news to you, you have never understood the gospel of grace.” is my favorite part of the quote. Some just don’t understand and that’s not up to me. God knows. That has to be enough and it is!

    • Debbie says :

      Heidi –
      No worries about conformity – that’s certainly never going to be you!
      But the Good News of grace – you live and breath it, my friend!
      ~ Debbie

  7. Step On a Crack says :

    Dear Debbie,

    I read this over and over and over. THIS Is beautiful and resonates not just with who I view Christ to be but how I want to live my life. I believe this is the truth 100%. THAT is what I find so powerful about the New Testament: Jesus and his mind bending forgiveness and lack of judgement. Who lives like that? Jesus did thats who. He showed that we can too.

    WHAT a beautiful post from your beautiful Heart.

    I will sleep with this tonight. THAT is a comfort.

    Love to you…

    Jen

    • Debbie says :

      My friend,
      Yes, Jesus was a radical!
      To love like He did would be pretty radical.
      I think if you ever meet someone like that, it’ll be obvious.
      They’ll over love you, out love you, love you far beyond your merit.
      That’s the example He left for us.
      I’m with you. That’s how I want to live my life, too.
      We can pray for each other in that.
      Love and peace to you, Jen,
      ~ Debbie

  8. purpleborough says :

    How fitting (no pun intended) to read this today. How many times have I witnessed the pain of abortion on a young woman’s face feeling she had no other choice; how many times do you have to hear that you are murderer before you believe? Will I fit in? I hope so.

  9. iamnotshe says :

    Hi lady! I’m late! I’ve been going crazy trying to dodge around all the chores Don and i have amassed. We’re sitting inside now watching his grass grow! NO KIDDING. It’s pouring here … and the flowers we bought are sitting outside getting a drink. Anyway, yep, i fit in into the fray. I can totally relate to that. I understand the fray and accept the fray more than the “untattered” or untouched souls on earth. XO melis

    • Debbie says :

      Hi melis!
      The frayed seem more likely to roll out the Welcome Home mat!
      I don’t think there are really many “untattered” souls. I think they’re just quite a few who tape up their hems out of fear or denial.
      As you well know, vulnerability comes with a price.
      I think we’re called to love that way though, with our seams showing. :D
      love and grace,
      ~ Debbie

      • iamnotshe says :

        Yep, vulnerability and self-examination are tough roads to hoe. I think if we are willing to speak and share our hearts we CAN find true connection, or deeper connections: hopefully with those who do are not “judges”. And for those who judge, see you later. Love sweet Debbie, Melis

  10. Crowing Crone Joss says :

    “grace that is greater than all my sin”

  11. countingducks says :

    Full of thought. Wanting to be the best we can and, ” soiled with life” struggling with our weaknesses. I know that one so well

  12. Debbie says :

    So , so beautiful here, gracious one. Thank you! When we are tired or a little beat up by life or by ourselves . .. here you come to the rescue, holding out Jesus to us. I love Brendan Manning’s books. I had 2, loved them so much that I gave them to others that I knew needed the kind of encouragement he shares too. :) God bless you each day, as His grace and peace washes over you. love and prayers!

    • Debbie says :

      Dear Deb-
      As one Ragamuffin to another, I thank you for your constant encouragement, your generous heart and for shining the light ahead of me down the path of grace.
      ~ Debbie

  13. fgassette says :

    We were all lost like sheep without a shephard. But God said he came to save the weak and the lost and the down trodden. We all fall short of the glory of God. We all fall down but through grace we get back up. I hope you enjoy this video:

    BE ENCOURAGED! BE BLESSED!

  14. writinggomer says :

    Amen! Thank you for this Debbie. But by the grace of God, there go I. And there I have went; the alcoholic, the poor husband, the trouble maker, the liar….the list goes on. Yes I will fit right in with all the other misfits the Lord our God has so graciously chosen to save out of this world.

    Thank you for two minutes of grace
    Blessings to you graceful one
    Greg

    • Debbie says :

      Dear Greg,
      You are such an honest, humble man. I so appreciate taking this journey of grace with you.
      You and I, we’ll fit right in. :D
      Isn’t that grand!
      love and grace to you,
      ~ Debbie

      • writinggomer says :

        What would I do without you Debbie! I’m so glad I met you even though it is only on the internet. You are such an encouragement to me and many others as I can see by the comments.
        Thanks for being a light in a dark world. :)

        Yes we will fit right in!
        Can’t wait to meet you on the other side! Well, I can wait a little while. :)

        Love to you also my friend.
        Greg

      • Debbie says :

        Greg-
        In the Sweet By-and-By! :D
        ~ Debbie

  15. sallie gaye landis says :

    i long for that day at times.

    • Debbie says :

      Dear sweet friend,
      I long for the day, every day. Not in a morose way or with discontent.
      More just like a happy traveler, enjoying the journey, but still always with that bit of longing for home.
      I think of you often, Gaye, with such love and gratefulness,
      ~ Debbie

      • sallie gaye landis says :

        i am so grateful for who you have been to me in my life, and the wonder of technology (which i do dislike at times) keeps us connected. it is a privilege to be able continue to walk with you on your journey.

      • Debbie says :

        Gaye-
        The privilege is all mine, truly.
        ~ Debbie

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