Expanding on City Church's latest sermon, "A Window of Ultimate Reality," we are having conversations that grow our imaginations for ultimate reality—Christ and the world he makes new. Enjoy a conversation with City Church members, Kyle and Kim Roquemore, as they grow our imaginations for the ultimate reality of grace. Join us on Sunday as we continue our series, A World with Windows.
Kyle and Kim, could you tell us a little about yourselves?
(Kyle) I am a born and bred Lousianian, and Kim was raised in Houston but has family roots in Louisiana as well. She's an upper school English teacher at St. John's School, and I'm a managing partner at HBCUVirtualSummit.com. Both of us graduated from HBCUs (Historically black colleges and universities), Howard University and Southern University.
We are the proud parents of five children ages nine to twenty-six. Our blended family is a ceaseless source of fun, laughter, and sometimes consternation.
How did you find City Church? How long have you been going here?
(Kyle) Kim's friend, Hollis Amley, invited her to an event called "Race and Grace" back in 2017. We were struck at how genuinely the conversation on racial harmony transpired. This was a group of people who were there not because they had to be, but because they wanted to be. I looked at Kim during that event, and she could see the excitement in my eyes. Here we were, late one Sunday evening with a room full of strangers who wanted to learn how to share Jesus' grace and love with all people, regardless of what they looked like.
We are exploring the ultimate reality of the grace found in Jesus. What are some things that you think lead us toward a false perception of grace?
(Kim) I think we sometimes confuse niceness and politeness with grace, meaning that if we are nice and polite to someone, we think we're showing grace. But grace is more than that. We learn that truth quickly when someone needs more than just superficial niceness from us—when what they really need is grace. Grace is hard to give, which is why I think Jesus is so awesome. He gave it to us so freely and lovingly. He still does.
Can you tell us about a time when you doubted the efficiency or wisdom of God's grace-based ways? What did that look like for you?
(Kyle) It's our tendency as human beings to believe that everything is under our control, that we are our own saviors. It may not be so much as fighting against the grace as ignoring that it comes from Jesus. Kim and I pray together, asking God to grant us wisdom and discernment in our daily life. Part of that wisdom involves remaining cognizant that God's plan is at work. When I don’t understand his grace-based ways, I panic. Kim has a way of anchoring me back in God's word, showing that God's plan is greater even though it might not be what I was expecting. It will be a lifelong journey to learn to stand in his grace even when I have doubts.
Would you mind sharing a time when you moved from the mere comprehension of the idea of grace to encountering the reality of it?
(Kim) In May when the murder of Ahmaud Arbery dominated the news cycle for a couple of weeks, Kyle and I did the 2.3 mile walk in his honor, watched the news incessantly, and mourned together. It was just one of those things that Black people collectively experience. We didn't think about mentioning anything to our City Group, or anyone else in the church for that matter. We thought it would be something that we would get through together, alone with our Black friends and family. But then, on our City Group text thread, Kyle and I saw people mentioning that they had just finished walking, finished biking, or were about to start walking the 2.3 miles to honor Ahmaud. Then, a couple of hours later, our doorbell rang. We opened the door to find a box of warm cookies from Tiff’s Treats—a pick-me-up gift from another City Church family. The solidarity and love we were receiving from our church family floored us. People were choosing to learn about what had happened, to feel the pain, fear, and despair of Black people, to think about people they knew who may be hurting, and then to reach out in some way to express their care. This was grace.
One characteristic of grace is that it is so big and powerful that it makes room for more amazing things to happen. God is moving in the hearts of our church members and helping all of us heal and grow. We now see qualities in others that we were blind to just seven months ago. We are not worthy, but God keeps opening hearts and making his work visible to us. It is life-giving. It is grace.
What would you say to someone who was wrestling with the way grace interacts with all that is going on in our world right now?
(Kim) When you look for God's grace, you will see it in abundance. It's easy to see the bad, but it's just as easy to see the good when you want to. A simple request to God to open your eyes will do the trick. It's amazing. The list is endless when you want to see it. As Paul wrote in Romans, God truly does work for the good in all things for those who love him and are called to his purpose.