If you’ve been a part of our little community here on the blog for a while, you’ve heard me talk about grace. It’s the cornerstone of my personal faith journey. It’s the message I hope my writing conveys.
But what IS grace, exactly? I’ve decided to start a new series here on the blog called [Grace Is…] that gives us a place to discuss just that. Grace is often experienced through interactions with others, in nature’s creation, study of God’s word, etc. I invite you to tell me about what you think grace is. Use the contact form and be sure and mention “Grace Is”. Your thoughts could turn in to a guest post in the monthly series!
First a short passage from the Bible.
For by grace you have been saved through faith,
and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God—
not the result of works, so that no one may boast.
A few words stick out for me. Maybe the same do for you.
SAVED — [Grace Is…] life saving/changing/redeeming.
GIFT — [Grace Is…] freely given and not earned or deserved.
BOAST — [Grace Is…] God’s alone and not something we can take credit for.
The other day, I was asked by someone on my unofficial “team” what themes were consistent in my writing. We were brainstorming my author brand. What words do I want to come to a reader’s mind when they think about me and my stories? Grace (of course) was the first one. It’s a common word in the faith community, though. What else? I thought about it and told her this story:
As a teenager, I attending a youth retreat at my church. It was called a Radical Sabbatical. (Don’t you just love that?) For a meditation exercise, we were told to close our eyes and imagine what was spoken to us. Our leader went on to tell us to imagine standing at the crest of a hill. Below, a crowd has gathered at the edge of a lake. In the midst of the excited crowd is Jesus. Knowing I can’t get near to him through the people, I walk down the hill but keep my distance. Suddenly, the crowd begins to part. Jesus excuses himself past each person until he meets eyes with me and crosses the distance between us. Standing before me with eyes alive with excitement, he reaches out and embraces me. “You’re here! I’ve been looking for you. I love you.”
In that moment, for me, grace became real. Jesus had sought me out. Through a sea of people who had gone to him, he made the effort to come to me. I wasn’t worthy. I didn’t deserve his effort, his time, his touch. Yet, there he was. Embracing me with his arms of acceptance, forgiveness, and unconditional love.
To this day, nearly twenty years later, I yearn for that embrace. On days I feel I’ve lost him, I remember how he looked for me and held me.
[Grace Is…] God’s loving embrace.
What is grace to you? Send me a message or join in the conversation below. Blessings to you, friends! Be encouraged today.