Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Love and Grace (09/11/14)
TITLE: You Need Both
By Donna Tijou
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Janet and Kurt, were proud of their infant twin girls and showed them their love. The girls loved each other very much as well. They shared everything - their parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, a bedroom, toys and clothes. You never saw one without the other. Always hand-in-hand, they went about the business of playing and growing. Janet and Kurt raised them conscientiously, teaching them right from wrong, obedience and mindfulness, but were careful not to break their spirits. They grew wonderfully - or so it seemed for the first seven years. Then something changed - the love and grace they felt for each other seemed to vanish.
Love and Grace became adversaries, always at each other’s throats. At first Janet and Kurt thought it was cute - they were becoming independent, finding themselves as individuals as opposed to being a duet, but as time went on it got worse. They fought continuously, always in competition with each other. Love broke Grace’s toys and Grace hid Love’s favorite things.
“What happened to our sweet daughters?” Janet asked Kurt one night. “They don’t get along anymore. I’m thinking of giving them separate bedrooms and asking the school to put them in different classes.”
“That might be a good idea.” responded Kurt. “Maybe they need a little time apart. They have been as one person since birth. This might just be part of growing and developing individuality. Let’s try it and see what happens. I’m sure they will outgrow this conflict.”
So Love and Grace were separated, given their own bedrooms, clothes, toys, classrooms and teachers. They developed their own succinct personalities, friends, hobbies, likes and dislikes. Still, they fought. Dinnertime became a battleground. One was always out to get the other by vying for their parents attention and time. Janet and Kurt were at a loss. The family started eating supper separately. One night Janet would eat with Love and Kurt with Grace and the following night they would switch, with Janet dining with Grace and Kurt with Love. The family grew apart. Janet and Kurt started to fight with each other, with one trying to outdo the other with his/her parenting skills. Soon Janet and Kurt were considering divorce The household was divided. The joy of the earlier years was gone..
When Janet and Kurt split-up they split the girls as well, with one taking Love and the other Grace. But who would go with whom? It seemed impossible to have Love without Grace and Grace without Love.
Before Janet and Kurt signed the divorce papers they decided to give it one last try - they would go for counseling with their minister.
“What’s happening with Love and Grace?” asked Pastor Simmons.
“They won’t stop fighting,” said Kurt.
“We are at wit’s end.” added Janet. “We had to separate them. Now we don’t do anything together as a family anymore, not even eat.”
“Don’t you know that love and grace go together? One is a condition of the other. Love is a purposeful commitment to another person and grace is that commitment in action.”
“But we are talking about our children.” Kurt put in.
“And I am talking about God’s children.” said Pastor Simmons. “As parents we must stress the importance of love and grace to our families. Siblings sometimes fight. It is our job to help them get past their disagreements.”
Janet and Kurt didn’t really want to divorce and continued to see Pastor Simmons. Eventually, the girls joined them in the counseling.
Love said to Grace, “I thought I didn’t need you.”
Grace replied, “I now realize that we compliment one another.”
The family found that love and grace are necessary components of God’s will. They then committed their lives to God. Love and Grace became caring sisters again. They all came to realize that God sent His Son to redeem us, that His mercy and grace stem from His deep love for us. Love and grace go together; you need both.
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