Near Indianapolis a desperate young man jumped the barrier in a check-cashing store and demanded money at gunpoint from the terrified attendant. In her fear she instinctively began to pray, and as she prayed she began to talk to the young man, and tell him he ought to pray and not throw his life away like this. Over a period of time the man calmed down, and the two (get this!) spent about 30 minutes in prayer and discussion together. In the end the man handed the woman the only bullet in the gun, took $20, and left. He said he needed it to feed his 2-year-old. On the security cameras you see the two, assailant and victim, embrace before he leaves.
George Stephanopoulos reported the story on Good Morning America this morning and called it "grace."
Grace indeed, and whereas perhaps the majority of instances like this end up very differently, the fact that in this case gentleness and faith won out over cruelty and violence shows that grace indeed has the potential of yielding a powerfully transforming experience, something that the standard path of this world cannot muster.
So what are we going to bank on? Choosing the standard path is to put grace up for a vote that fails to entertain eternity. Choosing grace, even though most of the time we'll get hurt is to vote for heaven, and vote for the great reversal at the resolution of all things where finally the last shall be first and the first last.