Grace…what a beautiful word! Which one of hasn’t longed to find a way to redeem our mistakes, to have an encounter that would make us whole, to accept light and love for ourselves, and to extend this full life to others? Merriam-Webster defines grace as: “unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification; a virtue coming from God; a state of sanctification enjoyed through divine assistance.” Sometimes it’s so hard to extend grace to others; mostly, it seems insurmountable to really accept it for ourselves. I think this is why the Apostle Paul said it over and over in his letters: “Grace and peace to you through Christ.” It takes many experiences to show us our need, many reminders it is ours for the taking, many encounters to truly transform. Although it’s freely offered, it wasn’t cheap, for it was purchased for us through the precious blood of Christ. It waits for us always, needs only be accepted, is relentless in its pursuit, and brings us true and lasting peace,. Ann Voskamp says it this way: “Grace is like the wind. It finds us as we are, but it does not leave us as we have been….ALL is grace.” All is grace.
If we can remain open enough to receive the unmerited favor that always awaits us, then perhaps our experiences will ultimately be woven into something beautiful? If we long to redo different steps in our journeys, then perhaps we’ve ventured out enough to risk mistakes, and to know the value of forgiveness? Grace involves acceptance of the beauty of what IS, but it also entails the willingness to risk. As André Gide once said, “One cannot see new lands, unless he is prepared to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.” To truly find the wind in our sails, we might indeed lose sight of the shore, but we can never escape the endless ocean of God’s gracious love.
“Maybe wholeness is not reaching for perfection in your life; maybe wholeness is embracing brokenness as part of your life….Maybe life always tastes a bit like regret. Whatever you do or don’t do, there is no way to never taste it. And though you may have to taste regret, you don’t have to believe in it, you don’t have to live in it, like rowing a boat that only goes backward, trying to find something that’s been washed out to sea. It’s god’s sea. And that means all is grace” (The Broken Way, Ann Voskamp).
A good friend…a fellow teacher and blogger, a beautiful woman and mom, in trysting with her pen, reflected: