And that is grace...

It’s interesting how the word “grace” gets used a lot, even by those who don’t necessarily consider themselves religious. It’s a favorite name for a character that represents someone who is a gift to us — I’m thinking about Bruce’s girlfriend Grace in Bruce Almighty, or Eli’s reassuring encounter with a woman named Grace in the second season of the TV series Eli Stone.

You can probably cite many more examples of characters named Grace in different movies, television shows, and books.

We like to put flesh-and-blood on the notion that we are recipients of some great gift that arrives unexpectedly and is given freely. Someone or something that comes into our life and significantly changes it for the better in some ways.

But what is grace? Who is grace to us?

You get hurt. You get a great disappointment. You find someone there ready to hold your hand in your lowest moment. And when someone else is in the same spot, you hold their hand.

That is grace.

You make a bad decision and suffer the consequences (we‘ve all been there). You make what seems to be a good decision and it has unintended consequences (we‘ve all been there, too). Some people are there with you through it all, no matter what it costs them. They think that you are worth whatever price has to be paid to be with you. And you are willing to pay the price to be there for them, too.

That is grace.

You feel lost and alone. You begin to despair about whether you can get your life together. You feel trapped. You feel inadequate. And yet you find others who remind you that you are amazing. They make you see the possibilities of each day. And you end up doing the same for them.

That is grace.

You think that if anyone knew the real you, they wouldn’t like you. You hide parts of yourself from others. And then you find that there are those who want to get to know those parts of you and appreciate them and celebrate them with you. And you want to do the same with them.

That is grace.

You realize that life is limited. You lose sleep over the realization that you’ll never achieve all of your dreams. Someone comes along to remind you that you’re never alone in your worries and concerns. They tell you that you are perfect just as you are. And you are inspired to remind others of it, too.

That is grace.

Something joyful happens. You realize how incredibly fortunate you are just to be alive, to be part of this amazing creation. You recognize that others want to be there to celebrate with you and to be happy with you. And you want to smile and celebrate with them.

That is grace.

You love others for who they are, and you are loved for who you are.

That is grace. For them and for you.

You can add your own examples of how grace touches our lives. You probably know many, many more.

Grace leads you to the source of grace. It reminds you that every day is another opportunity to be touched and changed by love in some way. A love that’s a gift, pure and simple, given without any condition whatsoever. No requirements, no strings attached. Because that‘s how love works.

Simply because you are worth it.

Grace is a reminder that you are worth it.

Period. No qualifiers.

It also reminds you that you are grace for others, too. You are that hand that is ready to hold another’s hand, that hug that the other person needs, that reassuring presence when their life seems to be falling apart.

And they are that for you, too.

That is grace.

Courtesy of Sojourners Magazine The opinions are those of the author's and do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of the Florida Conference.

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