It’s a word that has always resonated within my heart. It whispers to me the softer understanding and care taking we are called to have with one another. It found it’s way to the name of my daughter, and continues to show itself as one of life’s sweet silver linings.
Recently we attended the funeral for my Great Aunt Grace. During the service her daughter spoke of the meaning of the word grace and how her mother truly embodied all those characteristics. Since then I find my mind drifting and turning over the word as well, wondering how it applies to my life and our world.
Grace is simply the gentler, gracious and loving spirit within us, a peace that we can pass to the world through our most basic actions. It’s viewing a situation from another perspective, having compassion and understanding for our opponents, choosing a smile or an unexpected laugh to diffuse a moment of confrontation, standing up for the weak or friendless, encouraging, giving generously, caring for the sick, looking up and being present, a complement or caring gesture, a shoulder for the grieving, small acts of neighborly goodness, saying I’m sorry, forgiving quickly and completely, showing gratitude, digging deep and finding more patience in a trying moment, letting go of grudges, empathy, turning the other cheek, choosing kindness…
Examples of grace are all around us, and share a common theme – they are all actionable. Grace is passed when we act, when we come out of our too often hardened shells to extend a gesture of peace and care.
We’re surrounded by images and reports of the tumultuous state of the world, and while our hearts may be stirred, our prayers deep, we can feel overwhelmed to the point of inertia. I own that I often feel moved to help, but somewhere along the way of processing the enormity and complexity of the world’s troubles, I start to feel powerless.
But it’s not that way with grace. Grace is within all of us, and when we act to give grace in any size capacity, we are forces of world change. So as I love on and turn over this gentle yet mighty word, I think back to the example of my great aunt’s life, and how she helped to make the world brighter by simply passing grace.
Give More Grace.
My soul has been yearning for time to be creative lately, and for ways to do my part spreading goodness. Tonight, I find myself working on the floor of my garage, and a rustic wooden sign with the words GIVE MORE GRACE is coming together. It’s a visual prompt to keep me vigilant to choose grace in even my most trying moments, and to be actionable in extending grace over and over. It’s a hope to see grace and to give grace.