Excerpt from The Cure by John Lynch
Then, with a pause and a smile, she clasps my hands in hers, “How are you?”
The last time I answered this one, I was handed a mask. This hostess is nicer, but I’m not convinced. “Fine. I’m doing fine…” The whole room is watching me now, and I see eyebrows tilted in skepticism. My heart sinks. I’m so tired of this. I turn toward the room, all eyes on me, and yell out so everyone can hear. “Hey, everybody, listen up! I am not fine. Not fine at all! I haven’t been fine for a long time. I’m tired, confused, angry and afraid. I feel guilty and lonely, and that makes me even angrier! I’m sad most of the time and I pretend I’m not. My life is not working at the moment! I’m so far behind and freaked out about what to do next, I’m almost completely frozen. And if any of you religious kooks knew half my daily thoughts, you’d kick me out of your little club. So, again, I’m doing not fine. Thanks for asking. I think I’ll go now.” I turn toward the door before I have a chance to break down again. As I grab for the knob, a voice booms from the back of the room. “That’s it? That’s all you got? I’ll take your anger, guilt, and dark thoughts and raise you compulsive sin and chronic lower-back pain! Oh, and did I mention I’m in debt up to my ears? I also wouldn’t know classical music from a show tune if it jumped up and bit me! You’d better get more than that little list.” The room erupts in warm, genuine laughter, and I know it’s not meant to embarrass me. The hostess leans in, nudges me, and kindly smiles. “I think he means you’re welcome here.”
I step into a crowd of welcoming smiles. And there’s not a mask to be seen anywhere. Right away, I wish I’d known these people all my life. You’re in the Room of Grace! Grace!
That word appears 122 times in the New Testament. The Judaizers in the apostle Paul’s day hated it. They feared what it would do if it got loose. “Paul, you can’t tell them this!” they said. “These people are immature, lazy and have little religious background. They’ll abuse it as soon as they can. They’ll live Christianity-lite. These people are weak and want to do whatever they want. And believe me, what they want is not good