photo cred: Greenleaf OWN
The second season of Greenleaf is in full swing and there has been no short order of drama for Calvary Fellowship World Ministries. The series follows Black Church royalty, the Greenleafs as they navigate through typical church drama. Expertly delving into many of the subjects that plague the Black community such as adultery, fornication, homosexuality, murder, molestation and rape- Greenleaf has quickly become my TV highlight of the week. Not one member of this family seems to have an abundance of grace or the unmerited favor of God.
Season 1 ended with Lady Mae’s brother, Mac being released from jail on child molestation charges. The family is made aware of his release when he arrives at the Greenleaf mansion led by a cavalry of police cars. He smugly shuffles up the stairs to plant a kiss on his sister’s cheek: think Judas. When Season 2 opens we see that Mac has implicated Bishop Greenleaf in an arson case that claimed the life of the church caretaker in exchange for his release from prison. Prisoners routinely turn evidence in order to negotiate more sentences for themselves. However, this turn of events set off a chain reaction that no one could have imagined.
From the onset, Grace Greenleaf has been the character that I have identified with most. I understand how it feels to grow up in a home devoid of the thing all children crave the most- the love and affection of their mother. It has taken a lifetime to view my mother as a person with flaws like the rest of us and not some heavenly being. When I realized this, I was finally able to forgive her. My mother and I have made tremendous strides in our relationship in the past year.
But, Grace and her mother aren’t quite ready to forge that path, though. Honestly, Grace hasn’t been able to focus on much since the release of her uncle. She blames her uncle Mac for the suicide of her sister Faith (she was one of Mac’s victims). Grace has made it her mission in life to ensure that Mac doesn’t have a moment’s peace. The Good Book says that “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Cor 12:9 This scripture is quoted often, but I think we miss the point. God's grace is sufficient to cover any situation in our lives, IF we acknowledge our weakness. Click To Tweet
God’s grace hasn’t been sufficient because Grace hasn’t acknowledged her weakness. She has taken justice into her own hands and we are left with a fraction of the woman we have grown to know and love. Her mission to destroy Mac has taken a toll on the once close-knit relationship she enjoyed with her daughter. But in her anger and unforgiveness, she doesn’t seem to notice.
There are 3 distinct times this season where Grace was not sufficient.
photo cred: Greenleaf OWN
1. When she printed the flyers.
It is entirely possible to do the right thing for the wrong reasons. I believe that this was one of those times. Grace is too close to the situation to see it clearly. The responsibilities of being a mother and member of the ministry at Calvary should keep her busy. However, she has taken time away from those responsibilities to place flyers on the cars of the residents in the community that Mac has moved. While this may seem like the right thing to do, the heart in which Grace has set out to alert the community isn’t pure. It is all about the heart. While man looks at the outward works, God is only concerned with our hearts. When our hearts are pure and our actions are aligned with our intentions then we are operating in the will of God. When we are operating in the will of God, our trees bear good fruit. While Grace is out printing flyers, her daughter is in the throes of her first crush. She is in need of the wise counsel that only her mother can provide at this pivotal time in her life.
2. When she “graced” Mac’s car with her bat.
Gigi destroyed her uncle’s car in a scene straight out of a Jazmine Sullivan song. Armed with a Louisville slugger, Grace busted out the windows of her uncle’s car. Mac didn’t utter a word when he found her, but she was greeted with her signature scowl. The next day, Gigi was graced with the presence of the local police- at the church. The visit only served as a warning that Mac would take legal measures if the “harassment” continued. This is definitely not a good look for a minister who is well aware that vengeance is the Lord’s.
All of these events have led to the most tragic transgression of all…
3. When she began to doubt her calling.
Grace’s misplaced anger has caused her to stray out of the will of God. When we lose focus on what is really important of our lives, it is easy to think that we have everything in control. We begin to believe the tricks of the enemy. There is no doubt that Gigi has a calling on her life- to touch lives and saves souls for Christ. This has to be an incredible burden- I mean it’s one thing to know that the fate of my eternal soul is in the balance. But, as Christians, we were all created with a purpose. If we die without fulfilling that purpose the blood of the lives of those people whose lives were supposed to be transformed by our life’s work is on our hands. I can relate to taking the scenic route through life in an attempt to escape the responsibilities placed upon you. But, when we do this we invite undue heartache into our lives. While the show hasn’t shown Mac suffering, we can only assume that he is living in his own personal hell. No amount of street justice could possibly make him more miserable. But, Grace is miserable – she isn’t preaching, her relationship with Sophia is strained, and her love life is in a rut. She confesses to her friend that she isn’t sure of her calling anymore. That is the real tragedy.
When we harbor unforgiveness in our hearts, we cause a rift in our relationships. Our relationship with God suffers, our relationship with the people around us suffers, and the relationship we have with ourselves suffers. I imagine that Gigi is finding it hard to face the woman in the mirror these days. I would venture to say that Mac isn’t the person who she really needs to forgive. Grace Greenleaf is struggling with forgiving herself. Because she wasn’t able to save Faith she has made it her mission to save all the girls that could be affected by Mac’s sickness – and that is just not humanly possible. As believers, we are most hard on ourselves. The forgiveness and grace that we extend to each other is difficult to apply to our own situations. Click To TweetHere’s hoping that Grace finds the strength to forgive herself before it’s too late.
Is there something that you are struggling to forgive yourself for? In what area can you extend some grace to someone today?