Second Chances

A friend of mine is spending this week at her blog celebrating Second Chances as her and her husband arrive a their one year anniversary of recommitment. It’s an amazing story of forgiveness, transparency, and vulnerability. Check it out here.

The whole idea of second chances has got me thinking. It’s honestly a idea that has run through my head for years. I have dedicated the last 20 years to helping people get, take and receive second chances. It is the amazing story of a God who loves us deeply, so much that he gives us a million second chances.

Alonso – A good friend of mine, who I lost to the violence in Juarez. His is a story of a second chance. He grew up in poverty. School wasn’t really an option. The cardboard, walls, the lack of electricity, the pit toilet outside. The unprepared teachers. The dirt, the hunger all fought against his chance at a future. Still he made it to middle school. Left with little inspiration to study. The hunger and his families hunger, he needed to find work. On the job, he learned to weld. He was good at it and he enjoyed it. He loved the art. Later he began to run with los cholos (the gangsters) in Juarez. He fought, had was shot at by other gangs, chased by cops and shot at by them too, used various drugs, stole… and the list goes on. Alonso had an amazing smile.

I met Alonso in his 20’s. Married, two children, just off the streets and out of the gangs and searching. He met a local pastor and began doing some odd jobs for him. That’s when I met Alonso. Alonso had an amazing smile. He began working with us, first a bit of security… funny now that I think about it. A criminal, who ran with gangs stealing and fighting working the security detail for us. Soon he started working side by side with me, learning to work and oversee different parts of the ministry. He became one of my closest friends. Alonso and I would sit in the dusty colonias of Juarez drinking ice-cold cokes out of glass bottles. The condensation running off the sides. We loved to get cokes, to sit and share life. And we’d laugh, laugh a lot about the life that he had come out of, how he had once lived for himself and now lived to meet the needs of others… The second chance that God had given him.

Many times people ask the question, how far can I go, what’s the line that I can tip toe up to or tip toe over. How far is too far.

In my mind it’s the wrong question. To me the question is not how far can you go, but…

How Far Have You Gone? That’s how far God will go to give you a second chance.

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Posted on May 25, 2011, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. i think sometimes God gives us the second chance long before we’ll give it to ourselves and others.

    i’m horrible at this. my life is a work in process… a consistent 2nd chance.

    • I have no doubt about this… It’s almost, if not a completely dysfunctional part of our thinking… always pushing the limit, thinking there is actually a limit. It’s like we’re playing poker and God is always there ready to ante up to our sin… I’ll see your sin and raise you more grace. We think there’s a limit we think God has a limited amount of Grace to wager… if that’s so, then it isn’t grace at all… it knows no bounds and is there before we even reach that next line.

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