Friday, September 25, 2009

Glimpses of Grace

In the last few weeks, I have become increasingly aware of the power of grace in my life. In reading that, you may imagine huge, sweeping events that have left me awe-struck in their wake. The reality is very different. It is the minute exchanges of unexpected offerings that have left me slack-jawed and wondering. A few to share...

-Yesterday, I woke up, wandered downstairs half awake, and found a pot of hot coffee brewed and waiting. Before Mark left for work, he made me coffee... though he does not drink it himself. I started the day with a smile and one less to-do on my list.

-Having lunch with a friend this week, she took my cup to the pop machine and filled it with Pepsi while we waited for our food to arrive. This small gesture nearly moved me to tears after being the one filling my children's cups for years. Mommas are not always used to being the ones who receive...

-In the middle of dinner last night, Josiah looked up at me and said that it was the BEST dinner EVER and thank you so much for making it. (It was hot beef sandwiches...) After a tortuous dinner the night before when no one happily ate the new chicken casserole I had made, this was a welcome surprise.

-A couple of nights ago, one of my older boys threw his arms around me as I sat on the couch and said, "Momma, I just love to spend time with you..." With a gangly boy in my arms, I relished the fact that, as big as he is, we have been able to remain connected and I am blessed to still hear such words.

If we understand grace to be an unexpected and undeserved selfless gift, all of these examples fit. Each exchange cost the giver nothing and yet, the response in me was deep. In the midst of a life that often moves too fast and days that are too long, these words and acts were a balm to my weary soul. Truth be told, in each of these situations, I wanted to grab hold of the giver and thank them. The offerings were small... but the response in my heart was great.

I have had to think of grace of this week... and have had to notice truths about the core of it that simultaneously make me smile and squirm. There are questions that about it all that have poked at me, like:

If extending grace to another can so easily be done, what keeps us from doing it more often?

Is there someone near me that needs a gift of grace that I can provide?

Another thought came to me, as I processed these glimpses of grace... and it left me humbled and convicted all at once. This morning, when I woke up, I was selflessly given another gift that I do not deserve. The truth is, I receive this gift each day and over time, have come to take it for granted.

This morning, when I woke up, I was showered in love from the God who created everything I see. The One who made the whole wide world took notice of me, sustained me through the night, and offered me one more day. Another day to hold my babies. Another day to pack their lunches. Another day to walk the dog, talk to my husband, clean my messy house. Another day to live in His amazing Grace and extend that gift to those around me. I live today and have hope for tomorrow because of His great love.

Does this glimpse of grace effect me as deeply as a cup of coffee? a selfless act? a gentle word? an affirmation of love? As I feel convicted by being MORE deeply affected by those experiences I shared above, I am suddenly aware that there is a connection here that ties common grace and God's grace into one big box. Could it be that maybe, just maybe, when I am moved to tears by a friend who fills my cup that I am connecting to The One who fills my life to overflowing? And, might it be that when I hear my boy whisper sweet, loving words in my ear, that I am reminded of the God who seeks me, too? In finding myself awash in common grace, I see glimpses of the grace God offers me that saves me and gives me hope... and then the common grace is not so ordinary as I might have thought. Instead, it becomes a way that God can show us, again and again, how very loved we are.

Today, if I let God lead my hands and mind, what will He have me do to extend grace to someone else? What small, undeserved offering can I give to another to remind them (and me) a bit about who He is and how He loves his children here on earth? It's something to think about...

Blessings on your day.

Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:
Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:21-23

1 comment:

Kristin said...

Nadia: Thanks for the reminder to see grace in the small things! I have become increasingly aware of God's grace over the last 18 months...what at gift is that I do not ever want to take for granted!