One of the reasons I like Eugene Peterson’s The Message is because there are many times where there are phrases, words, sentences that really jump out and make you think. For me, many of them do that more so than the more “traditional” versions.
Psalm 17:6-7 is one of those instances. In this Psalm, King David is writing to God, pouring out his soul and basically, if I could sum it up in one sentence saying, “God, I’m trying, help me!”
That is something that I believe all of us could say and should say more. “God I’m trying to……. Help me!” But only if we really mean it. Do we really want God to help? Or do we only want God to help if He does it our way?
But there’s another point in this section of Psalm 17 that really hit me. King David is asking God to paint “Grace Graffiti” on the fences.
What is “Grace Graffiti?” Let’s take a look at what graffiti is. Graffiti is often unplanned. It is some times very neat and organized and sometimes very messy. It changes the look of the neighborhood. Sometimes it makes the building “deeper” – Like the graffiti that the Youth Group at Madison did on the wall by the parking lot by the building Youth Group meets in.
So what then is “grace graffiti?” Grace graffiti is often unplanned, sometimes messy, sometimes beautiful evidence of God’s grace. It’s painted on the fences, drawn on the walls; it’s here, it’s there, it’s something that you can see pretty much anywhere – but you have to look for it.
Sometimes you can see it. Often times you can’t. Sometimes it’s loud. Sometimes it’s quiet. Sometimes it’s the testimony that a former alcoholic turned Christian music artist gives at a concert. Sometimes it’s the quiet prayers of a friend for a father fighting cancer. Sometimes it’s the patience and grace that shows up in second chances.
In Psalm 17, King David is talking to God and asking God to paint grace graffiti on the fences. I think that we need to take it one step further. We should be the ones spreading the evidence of God’s grace all throughout our neighborhoods, at our work places, in our church, in our families, with the people we meet and interact with.
Our responsibility is to spread that grace to others. If it were up to us, we wouldn’t. There’s this thing called “The Fall” that gets in the way.
But that’s also why we need to spread God’s grace. Because we all need it and none of us deserve it.
As we move through this thing called life and as we rub shoulders with people who need God’s grace, may we all spread more of the Grace Graffiti throughout our lives and our worlds.
It doesn’t wash off. And if you paint over it, it still shows through.
Try it, your world, your neighborhood, your school, your family will be blessed by it.