This is Where I Leave You… And Find Grace

October 21, 2014

Categories: Grace

The other night I saw the movie ‘This is Where I Leave You.’ There was one scene in the move that beautifully illustrated grace.

The main character of the film is Judd Altman (played by Jason Bateman). Judd has constructed a ‘perfect life’ for himself, but as the movie begins, everything starts to fall apart. First, Judd discovers his wife has been having an affair with his boss for over a year. Next, Judd’s father dies, and Judd travels back to his hometown to be with his mother and three siblings (whom he doesn’t like). As he begins to cope with the end of his marriage, his wife tells him that she is pregnant and the baby is his.

Whew! Talk about things not going as planned.

That’s where the grace scene happens.

Judd is near the end of his rope. The family is at a Jewish memorial service in honor of his father’s passing. Judd and his brother Phillip sneak out to a classroom in the synagogue. And this is what Phillip says:

“Judd, I know you’re going through a lot of shit right now… But I want you to know, I’m with you. Whatever you need, I’m with you.”

That’s grace. Unconditional love and acceptance, no matter what is going on in a person’s life. No matter how low we get, no matter what our struggles are.

“I’m with you.”

Not judging or rebuking. Just being with.

My hope is we would be people that freely give and receive grace to and from one another. And if you are a spiritual person, my prayer is that you would experience grace from God.

Discussion: In your life, do you regularly experience grace? Do you freely offer grace to others in your life? If not, what blocks you from giving and receiving grace?


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  1. J. Alexander October 22, 2014 at 6:55 am - Reply

    I know that the comment section should not be as long as the blog post…or longer (yikes!)…but with a loaded question like “do you regularly experience grace?” I may just have to blow up the internet!
    I experience grace daily, multiples times in a day; from God, family, friends, even strangers! They experience a broken person and yet extend love to me, they forgive, they press in, they listen, they overlook.
    The one person that extends the least amount of grace to me is…ME. This has been my struggle, to offer to myself the same kind of grace that I both give to others and receive from them. I’m learning. I’m getting better at it. And I’ve noticed that as I’m able to be more grace filled toward myself, I am doing a better job offering grace to others and receiving and believing that God is gracious to me as well.

  2. Joshua Hook October 27, 2014 at 10:34 am - Reply

    Thanks for sharing. I think you touch on a huge challenge-how do we give grace to ourselves? Often I am my harshest judge and critic. I say things to myself that I wouldn’t say to my friends and family. To be able to offer grace to yourself is a true gift.

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