To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey (Matthew 25:15, NIV).
The Gift of Grace
I am well acquainted with a monster called Fear. Like a giant octupus, this species has not only eight, but seventy-times-seven tentacles.
Each one reached deep into the remote corners of my heart, suffocating the last bit of life, breath and hope of the little one hiding from the world.
The Master Creator also equipped us with the common-sense-kind-of-fear to enable us to survive in a world lost in chaos and darkness … a world without a father’s hand to guide, steer and love her.
The check-the-traffic-before-you-cross-the-street kind, the don’t-do-handstands-on-the-edge-of-a-high-cliff kind of common sense, the kind my oldest son lacks completely.
Murder, rape and abuse are the order of the day. But there is another kind of invisible rape … spiritual rape! In my opinion, the worst kind, with the perpetrators usually the “authorities” responsible for the care of our souls.
Blaise Pascal once wrote,”Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction”. I am a victim of this truth!
Fm/CFS researchers report that it takes up to 4-5 years to diagnose a person with this disabling disease. I was no exception and I’m well aware of the stigma attached to this illness. We are labelled as lazy hypochondriacs who do not have all their marbles.
But even worse, was the treatment I recieved from the religious community. When I became ill and was diagnosed with that between-your-ears disease, I went to see my pastor and his wife, urgently needing help to get rid of this nonsense in my mind.
The Sunday before my visit, he preached a sermon on the talents. According to him, the talents were the Gospel we needed to spread. You can just put two and two together and see where the poor soul who buried his talent underground was doomed to go!!
I was devastated and angry at our Pappa and my visit to the pastor nailed my suspicions on its head. For before I could say much, they diagnosed this illness as the result of not serving in the church ministries.
My Pappa God, in my mind, was a cruel, uncaring slavemaster kind of fellow, demanding the impossible or if I didn’t perform, sending me to hell. Quite a catch 22 situation.
At that time, when this cruel thing happened, I believed my heart was raped and to my mind, my Pappa was the rapist. Didn’t He see how very, very ill I was? I could barely take care of my myself or my family. Now I had to spread the gospel and serve in church; otherwise, I only had a one-way ticket to the hot place.
To make a long story short, I spent hours spreading the gospel and tried to do as much as possible for whoever had a need I could fulfill. I recall experiencing my family as a burden, standing in my way to serve this God who had His knife in for me.
Until the day arrived I became bedridden for a long time. All the fear, stress and hard work caused this illness to become much worse.
That was when I seriously started seeking my Pappa and trying to understand the Scriptures. I was unable to read the parable of the talents without getting a panic attack!
But our Pappa owns all the time in the world and patiently taught me the true meaning of the talents. I discovered the work of Mr James Fowler, an excellent Bible teacher, and his explanation of the parable brought light and love to my heart.
The talents our Pappa dispenses is the costly grace gift of our Lord Jesus Himself. Two of the servants who received the talents, were guys with open hearts to receive the availability of Pappa’s grace.
Through their grace-filled endeavours, they expanded and multiplied their initial supply and received grace upon grace upon grace. They functioned the way humans are designed to live and were led into the joy of their Pappa.
The other servant was like the religious Scribes and Pharisees who viewed our Pappa as an exacting, tyrannical bookkeeper; fearing the day of the Divine Audit.
This poor soul would not even allow for the slightest operation of grace, but rather buried his portion in the false security offered by doctrines, creeds, rituals, morality, church attendance, etc.
The followers of this false security can only dig up the archaelogical remnants and theological tenets. They become master hoarders of religion and bury the Gospel of Grace deep underground.
Oh, the freedom our Pappa brought to my heart when He revealed to me the truth of His master plan of redemption, “God saved you by His grace. and you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God (Ephesians 2:8).”
He showed me that just like Adam and Eve, I was deceived by the serpent’s lie, which told me that I could be like my Pappa, able to save myself through all my religious efforts.
He was not in the least offended by my terrible accusations against Him. In fact, He told me that He also would not have served a monstrous deity such as the one I had painted in my mind.
He enabled my feeble heart to receive His grace, mercy and compassion in abundance; new every morning, and allowed me all the time I needed to heal while resting in His Loving Embrace.