Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Grating Grace

One of the bloggers that I follow is the minister of a smallish church in Indiana, just outside of Bloomington where I attended graduate school. We have never met in person, and so only have a "virtual" relationship. This relationship has been cultivated over the past several years by reading each other's blogs and exchanging thoughts and comments through that forum. While my blog runs the gamut of my full measure of nonsensical randomness, Bill's blog is much more focused on the thoughts of a man of God. Whether that is through discussing devotional books that he is reading, sermon topics, interactions with members of his flock, or even anecdotes from his life, he will often quote scripture or bring God to bear in his illustrations. Bill gets a fair number of folks who stop by each day and leave their comments. Most often he finds time later in the day to answer and address each and every comment that he receives.

One of the folks who stops by and leaves a comment most days is an admitted athiest. His comments are most often a critique of why Bill's Christian viewpoint is illogical and he will often point out his strong feelings that there is no evidence for the existence of any supernatural element in our universe. This commenter actually strives to remain respectful, but oftentimes he makes me want to leave a nasty reply to his grating comments. I mean Bill is a minister after all and someone who believes what he believes. What possible purpose could this man have to regularly stop by Bill's site and to continually poke and taunt? However, Bill always responds to this commenter with patience and with grace. I am amazed at how he regularly seeks to find common ground and to reach out without ever getting preachy or nasty or compromising his message or his point. His approach serves as a great model for me to interact with those in my life whose opinions I don't necessarily agree with.