I’ve been musing this week about these two words, “undeserved” and “underserved.” Inserting that one letter “r” changes everything about them and yet they cause me to think about who we are as human beings. No matter where we live or what we do vocationally, we all live in undeserved grace. We have done nothing to earn our position in life, our family heritage, or our gifts and talents. These things were given to each of us by the grace of God. Sure, we’ve worked hard and we’ve tried to make our way in the world, but it seems to me that we’ve been free to do that because every morning God brings a new sunrise and every evening He gives us a chance to rest. He blesses us, not because we earned our way to His favor, but simply because He wants our good, He wants us to live well. It’s all undeserved and totally unearned.
So, putting that “r” back into the midst of the word, we get “underserved.” Even though we’ve been given this umbrella of unearned and undeserved grace, we still do not do all that we can to be of service to the One who watches over our very being. We do not serve Him with our whole hearts and minds. We do not minister to each other without counting the costs to ourselves or judging the worth of another. We, who are part of the undeserving crowd, are caught underserving the One who reigns over the universe. Perhaps the “r” that is missing for some of us stands for Redeemer, the One who gives us undeserved grace and loves us even though we stubbornly underserve Him.
I wonder what the world would be like if we imagined every person as being deserving of love and grace and kindness, and we served each other with gratitude for all God has done for us. I suspect, the news would have very different reports indeed.