Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Recognizing Grace



Grace is an everyday occurrence. For each of us. God's love and favor are extended towards us in both large and small ways. In both the light and the dark. In both sickness and health. It is not a matter of whether we deserve grace or not for it to be given. Because we are each a child of God, grace is offered to us freely and lavishly and lovingly. If we think our days are not graced, it is because we are choosing to ignore the favored threads that weave together our lives.
Grace is rarely bestowed in an expected form. It can be covert and quiet and subtle, yet if recognized, can strengthen weak hearts, mend broken spirits and breath life into the shadow of death. The key to receiving grace lies in its recognition. What is not acknowledged or recognized cannot be received. What cannot be received is mistakenly assumed to have not been given. It is our own responsibility to learn to recognize the love and the favors.
Grace is the floral designer who puts extra love and care into the wedding flowers of a miserable bride. Grace is the unlooked for postcard from a distant friend arriving on a difficult day. Grace is coming upon a car accident 3 seconds after impact. Grace is the first person to rush to the aid of those who felt the impact. Grace is the butterfly that floats into view and distracts from sorrow and self pity. Grace is the wink and the smile and the nod of the head from strangers who pass by. It is the feather on our back stoop that causes us to bend, examine and consider something, anything other than the ongoing plague of negative thoughts. It is the sudden shift in stubbornly held viewpoints. It is rain after drought. It is pockets of peace within war. It is the releasing of friends we have outgrown.
Grace is ours to receive. It is less grandiose and more simple than we conceive it to be. It is being offered consistently and compassionately, despite our best efforts to ignore it or deny its existence. Recognizing the smallest, most subtle forms of grace leads to an awareness that we are loved and favored and glorified as an everyday occurrence.

2 comments:

  1. barryweber8/03/2007

    "The key to receiving grace lies in its recognition. What is not acknowledged or recognized cannot be received. What cannot be received is mistakenly assumed to have not been given. It is our own responsibility to learn to recognize the love and the favors."

    You really are sitting somewhere in my congregation! Or maybe I'm getting all my sermons from posts like this one!

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  2. I love the owl picture. I do believe in grace. I lost a child and my mom within 12 months and went into clinical depression. When I began to notice grace and beauty all around me is when I felt the grace and color coming back.

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