I have been thinking a lot about the notion of grace lately. It’s one of those words we use quite often, and I’m beginning to suspect we each mean something a little different each time we use it.
I have often said that my beloved is the best embodiment of grace that I know. Who and how she is as a person, friend, partner, lover, mother… provides me with tangible illustrations of grace. She’s proof of the divine for my oft doubting heart.
I had been planning all week for this week’s post to be a meditation on grace, and I even had a pretty lengthy essay outlined. But the more I dwelled on what I wanted to say, the more sanctimonious and repellent it felt to me.
So, instead, I composed this collage of photographs I’ve taken recently. Each image turns my mind to considerations of grace.
Additionally, I seek merely to share the questions I am currently chewing on regarding grace:
- What are we really saying when we explicitly ask others for grace? Are we demanding or expecting it?
- Why are we who receive grace the most frequently so often reluctant to grant it to others?
- Think of the idiom fall from grace. If one is truly in state of grace, is it possible to fall from it?
- Are the clumsiest people in fact the most graceful?
I leave you with this beautiful quote on grace from the brilliant Nadia Bolz-Weber. May it challenge, inspire, and comfort you this week:
“God’s grace is not defined as God being forgiving to us even though we sin. Grace is when God is a source of wholeness, which makes up for my failings. My failings hurt me and others and even the planet, and God’s grace to me is that my brokenness is not the final word … it’s that God makes beautiful things out of even my own shit. Grace isn’t about God creating humans and flawed beings and then acting all hurt when we inevitably fail and then stepping in like the hero to grant us grace – like saying, “Oh, it’s OK, I’ll be the good guy and forgive you.” It’s God saying, “I love the world too much to let your sin define you and be the final word. I am a God who makes all things new.”Nadia Bolz-Weber