We left big brother in his preschool classroom and made it back down the hallway and into the freezing cold. Bundled up and carrying a doll, little sister moved slowly, holding up the line of exiting parents. The other parents were watching carefully, trying not to trip over the distracted girl while also trying to get back to warm cars.
I ushered my daughter to the side in order for the parents pass. I gave a “what are you going to do” smile to a passing teacher.
“Grace,” she said.
Committed Parent‘s posts on neuroscience, my previous post on a hazard of parenting, and my current intellectual exercise on the differences between conservative, moderate and progressive/liberal theologies, leads my thoughts to weird places – but that single word brought it together.
We live in God’s Grace with every breath. God loves us and forgives us, knowing who we are and who we will be.
I wonder to what degree our decisions are based out of fear rather than Grace. How is our striving for control, conscious or not, preventing us from living in and out of Grace?
Are we really so worried that one action or incident will throw us over the proverbial cliff into horrible change, chaos or worse?
We can so easily live without grace. We can snap at strangers because they accidentally hit your car with their car door (Again, sorry!!!!). We can berate ourselves for a simple mistake during a particularly difficult time. We can start thinking others are wrong because they think differently. We can over-control our children.
To live in Grace is incredibly simple: just be. We live in God’s Grace daily, as God’s Grace is freely given and permeates our lives daily. Grace is just there, brought into our lives as air is brought into our lungs.
To live out of Grace is much harder. To live out of Grace, we need to open ourselves to the reality that God’s Grace supersedes our own personal concerns and worries and issues. God’s Grace is always present, no matter where we are on our personal journeys. As God is in control, God’s Grace is a means of transformation – taking what is wayward back on the correct path. God’s Grace reminds us that even mistakes and detours can be part of God’s path for us.
To live out of Grace is also in how we interact with others – those we know closely and remotely. When someone is going slower than we like – in action or thought – we can take a breath and remember that God’s Presence is in that person too. When someone does something to us, we can remember that God calls us to forgive them even if we are called to be part of the natural repercussions.
Living out of Grace does not mean that we are not confrontational or challenging or seeking justice. Living out of Grace means that we live out of God’s Love in our actions and thoughts. When we live out of Grace we ask questions, we don’t lecture. We smile with reassurance, rather than punish or fight back. We see Jesus in each other, rather than flawed creature.
Grace. Saving Grace.
Lord, help me live out of Your Grace rather than immersed and blinded by my limited view and understanding. Amen.