Updated: Sep 10, 2020
I’ve learned a lot about graceful living lately. Yesterday I realized that grace in action is simple, beautiful, and hard to execute. Grace is when a person does something for you that you cannot do for yourself, knowing that you cannot repay them.
As Christians, we are beneficiaries of unimaginable grace. God so loved the world that He was willing to do anything to reach us. None of us are able to repay that sacrifice. It is a free gift. That’s grace. We are called to extend that same love to others.
We humans make grace a lot more complicated. We hide behind ritual and liturgy. We say “I’ll pray for you,” and go on with our day. After all, we have busy lives and things to do.
Or maybe we pray for someone, but lose interest when they aren’t “fixed”. “Well, I guess they didn’t really want to be better or they would have ‘claimed’ their healing.”
But what about grace? Do we have room for compassion when people aren’t progressing according to our schedule? Or will we blame them for their failures and walk away?
It’s hard to stand beside someone who is in the middle of a storm. It’s uncomfortable and messy. And it will cost us something. Are we willing to pay the price? And what is the cost if we don’t? I don’t want to live a life where I hide away and never get involved. Even if it’s messy, I want to try to love people. I may not get it right all the time (I won’t), but I have to try.
Grace says, “I am with you in this situation, and I will help you do what you cannot.” Grace in action is not necessarily a spiritual experience. In fact, most often it is not. Grace in action is about being there for someone who cannot do anything to pay you back.
What is Grace?
Grace is when a friend brings their lawnmower over to help you mow your yard. They offer their time and efforts, because they know your mower is broken, you can’t afford a new one, and you have a bad back.
Grace is forgiving that person who wronged you before they even ask. Grace says “What you did was unforgivable, but I forgive you anyway.”
Grace is helping a friend with their resume and writing them a recommendation letter when they can’t find a job. It’s taking time to teach them to play the mandolin.
Grace is staying on the phone with a friend who is having an anxiety attack until they calm down. It’s listening while they cry uncontrollably and holding space for them.
Grace is giving a friend a ride who needs to have their car serviced so that they don’t have to sit at the shop all day.
Grace is helping a feral cat who is pregnant, even when you know that the best you can offer her will not be enough.
If you want to live a graceful life, it will cost you something. It will certainly cost you time. It may cost you sweat, tears, and inconvenience. But to whom much is given, much is required. And we have been given much. Let’s strive to love each other well, no matter the cost. Because in the end, love wins.