Nos tempos que correm, numa sociedade em que ir à igreja deixou de ser um acto com carácter de obrigação social e se tornou cada vez mais uma escolha voluntária nascida da sede de espiritualidade, querer pertencer a uma comunidade devia ser já em si prova suficiente de Fé e de querer orientar os passos pela bússola de Jesus Cristo. Nos Evangelhos há vários relatos de pessoas que procuram ver Jesus de longe, ou tocar-lhe no manto, e a quem ele diz: "a tua Fé salvou-te". Pergunto a D. Manuel Clemente se não lhe basta, como prova de Fé, que as pessoas "recasadas" queiram continuar no seio de uma comunidade, queiram baptizar os filhos e educá-los como cristãos.
Por mero acaso, encontrei recentemente no youtube um nocturno de Chopin em versão para violoncelo. Enquanto ouvia, parei inadvertidamente no texto do dono da página, que era o violoncelista. Nunca pensei encontrar no youtube uma lição de Fé tão comovente. Está lá tudo: os descalabros da vida, a culpa, a dúvida, e a reconciliação consigo próprio nascida da certeza do amor de Deus.
Deixo aqui o texto (e podem ouvir a música no vídeo que está aqui).
É por aí. É por esses caminhos da Fé que se avança como cristão. Estas coisas não se resolvem com regras sobre mais cama ou menos cama.
(Quando muito, alguns poderiam resolver algumas coisas com um bocadinho de divã)
(Ai! Tinha dito que ia falar mesmo a sério. :( )
If I should have a daughter, I will name her Grace. I was taught the song "Amazing Grace" as a young boy, and growing up I got that word "grace" stuck in my head. When I was born, my dad counted my fingers and toes because he was so afraid that I'd be a deformed baby. So when I came out a normal baby, my mom held me in her arms and wept. My parents always tell me, "Matthew, you are God's miracle. You are God's grace."
But I never really appreciated that I was God's miracle until my baby brother Daniel died. Daniel's brain didn't separate into right and left hemispheres because of a genetic disorder that's also in my genes. This was passed on to me by my father, passed on to him by my grandfather.
Doctors expected that I would be born with Down Syndrome or autism, and if my dad had his way, I would have been aborted too. But by God's merciful grace, I was born alive. He didn't know that, inside the darkness of my mother's womb, I was not alone. I was never alone. God was there with me, protecting me from harm.
My parents had made the painful decision of aborting Daniel because of that genetic disorder, and felt guilty about it. I had so many unanswered questions. Questions I felt, but couldn't even speak, because there were no words to express them. Part of me felt that I shouldn't have been born.
When I was 17, I ran away from home because I felt that something was missing. Was there something my parents weren't telling me? Why did I feel I had no right to exist? Why did I spend more time wanting to end my life than live it?
We all keep secrets. My dad confessed that besides the risk I would be born with a genetic disorder, he wanted my mom to have an abortion so he could hide his guilt and shame. He was already married when my mom became pregnant, and his wife at the time was also pregnant with my half-brother, Timothy.
I have learned through personal experience that music is used by God to heal the human spirit. During a piano competition, as I played Beethoven's "Pathetique", tears suddenly streamed down the face of my dad. I'll never forget what he said: "Matthew, you played with such powerful emotions because you're alive by God's grace. And the world would not have heard your music if I'd aborted you. So I asked God to forgive me, and I also wanted to ask your forgiveness."
For many years, my dad was stuck in a place called disgrace. This is how he described his disgrace: "Most days, I know that God has forgiven me. But there are some days that I don't feel I'm worthy of having God forgive me of my sins. I feel like a failure. I feel like I've let God down, and I can't seem to forgive myself." My dad was finally able to forgive himself when grace brought forgiveness and healing to his relationship with Timothy.
Growing up, I shared my dad's guilt and remorse. I felt guilty that he chose to be with me, and that my half-brother, Timothy, grew up without a father. Part of me felt that our dad should have stayed with him, maybe even that I shouldn't have been born. I carried the guilt, humiliation, and shame over the sins of my dad, and it was when the pain was too much to bear that God's grace healed me.
Grace really strikes us when we accept, with unwavering trust, that our sins have not only been forgiven, but forgotten, washed away in the blood of the Lamb. Whatever disgraces might make us ashamed, we just need to remember that all have been crucified with Christ.
Though God does not ignore or encourage our sins, He doesn't withhold His love because there is sin in us either. As forgiven sinners, we are humbly aware that sin is precisely what's caused us to throw ourselves at the mercy of our loving Father. If we weren't sinners and didn't need mercy and grace, we'd have no way of experiencing God's relentless and passionate love. No matter what happens or what I do, He can't stop loving me.
But even the courage to accept that our heavenly Father loves us just as we are, and not as how we should be, is grace. Our receiving of His love itself is grace!
Everything that we are and have is grace. Our family is a living testimony to Romans 5:20 - "Where sin abounded, God's mercy and grace abounded all the more." God's amazing grace delivered our family from our disgrace. For us, grace is God's word for love, expressed through unconditional forgiveness.
I'm a trophy of God's grace. As a child of adultery, I rest in His grace to cover the scandal of my birth. I rest in His mercy to cover my shame. I rest in His love to cover my humiliation. I rest in His blood shed on the cross to cover my sins.