Gary drinks a grape juice and quinine water drink every night before he goes to bed and claims it has stopped him from waking up in the middle of the night with leg cramps. Well a few nights ago he noticed a little bug floating in his glass of juice. Instead of losing the whole drink over this, he chose to sip it carefully, avoiding the little bug “until there’s half a teaspoon left. Only then did it get tossed.” Then it dawned on him, “That’s how I came to my compromise in the election choice.” I think he was saying he chose the candidate with the most amount of qualities he could affirm, and had to just disregard what he didn’t like or agree with about that person.
I think it’s a fitting metaphor for what we all did to come up with a candidate we could vote for in this election. It was the best we could do. However it occurs to me that this may work with a political candidate, but don’t try it with a friend, a family member, or even an acquaintance. With such a person, we have to take the whole thing. You can’t separate out what you don’t like about a person you have a relationship with for the purpose of discarding it. You can’t accept just part of a person. If you care for someone, you have to swallow the bug.
This is where grace turned outward is a requirement, because God has had to find a way to love us in spite of our ugliness, our sinfulness and our dysfunctions. He’s extended His grace and mercy to cover all these things, and He did it on the cross. On the cross, He swallowed the bug for the whole human race, and because His grace covers all my sin, I can extend His grace to others. I have to do this. It’s the only way we can all get along, but it’s also the way the message of grace gets out.
Some of Chandler’s friends bug me. I wish I could de-bug them, but I can’t. Only Jesus can do that (and they have to want it), but if I’m going to love them, I have to drink the whole thing; I have to swallow the bug. And if I ever get to thinking I’m somehow above this, I just stop and consider what people have had to swallow to love me.
I have heard, however, that bugs are high in protein.