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Some people are “EGR’s” (Extra Grace Required). They just demand more grace from us. This is patience.

Let me tell you about a man named Jack. He was a believer in the Lake Superior Christian Church where I ministered in Marquette. Jack had “Turrets’ Syndrome” and often couldn’t control his speech. He was unable to stop himself from blurting out curse words, rude language, and language that would make a pirate blush – and sometimes he would do it in church.


Jack got a job delivering birthday balloons and singing Happy Birthday. Like stutterers, victims of turret’s can sing fine because it is a different part of the brain. Anyway, I made an appointment to meet him for lunch at the Marquette Big Boy at noon when it was filled with construction workers, lumberjacks and steel miners. In walks Jack wearing a black tuxedo trimmed out in pink. He sits down opposite from me and for the next hour blurts out loudly and repeatedly – sometimes 8 or ten times in a minute – one word. The word for the day was “homosexual.” This was 25 years ago and in Marquette, in the Big Boy, with enough flannel shirts to circle the globe, if you tied the sleeves together, an hour with a guy in a pink trimmed tuxedo calling you a homosexual in a loud voice makes for a long, long lunch.


Yet, while other people didn’t even try to understand his problems – he was physically attacked more than once – he was accepted and loved by the church at Marquette. This requires the practice of love

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