I am a turtle in the middle of the road -- headed away from the pond.
You are a person in a car driving down the very same road and I am not only in your way, I am slow about it and not where I belong and obviously demonstrating my tendency to wander off from the place that is safe and home.
You have a choice to make.
Justice. You will continue on course where you belong and I will suffer the consequences of being where I don't. You may get turtle soup for supper.
Forgiveness. You will slow nearly to a stop and, forgiving my foolishness, you will carefully drive around me and head on your way.
Grace. You will park your car and get out of that place of comfort. You will get close enough to me to see my eyes blinking in confusion before I duck my head into my shell. You will pick me up and risk getting scratched from my claws as my feet flail around, powered by insecurity and fear. You will carry me to the side of the road, up over the curb, and down to the pond where you'll set me down (facing the water) and bid me a good day.
I need grace.
If you confess your sin, Jesus is faithful and has the full power and authority to justly forgive you of your sin. He will not only do that, he will clean you of all unrighteousness.
Jesus puts turtles back in the water.
(Thanks to Joel Hunter who used this illustration today at Northland as he was teaching about GRACE. Amazing grace.)