my new favorite word

September 11, 2011 at 12:34 am 3 comments

I still love the adorable-ness, the fun and spunk and whimsy of the word whimsical.

But my new favorite?

Grace.

It is the most beautiful, most healing word. And it is everywhere.

(Oh. It’s also my middle name. Not biased or anything.)

Grace is my professor’s response when I completed an assignment but forgot to post the link to it. This is someone who Absolutely Doesn’t Accept Late Work. And the first email went to an account I never check – so she gave me the grace to email me twice and not (I don’t think – or at least not too much) penalize me.

Grace is the response of my friends. When I completely fall apart and they just listen and offer hugs and wisdom and love anyway. When I have to back out of a coffee date at the last minute and feel absolutely awful.

You see, I’m starting to realize in a very real way that I have limitations. Part of being human is to be limited – I am not God. I cannot do everything (anything?) perfectly. I cannot love well. I cannot be everything to everyone; and I probably fail in my friendships with those I hold most dear anyway. But with limitations, I’ve found, there is great grace.

The grace God gives, when I finally turn around and confess that not only can’t I do this on my own, but I should never have tried.

The grace given by my friends, the loving understanding they offer, the hands they stretch out to pull me back to my feet.

Grace is in the words, “How are you? And by ‘how are you’ I mean how are you really and not the answer you give everyone!”

Grace is in the place of safety where I’m allowed to be Not Okay. Where my faults are glaringly obvious – and somehow, I’m loved anyway.

(That last bit sounds rather dramatic. I really am okay! But this semester has been a much crazier learning curve than I thought. It’s been wonderful, but tough, too. I’m finding that I can’t do even the simplest things, like manage to leave enough time to eat or sleep right. I can’t be there for everyone the way I want to. And I hate that.)

Grace is in people trusting me enough to tell me their stories.

Grace is understanding who we are and Who God is. It is knowing that people are beautiful, friendships are beautiful – and yet we are all broken, too. Grace allows for restoration and forgiveness. Grace knows that we can’t do anything but love, hold the brokenness and point each other back to the Cross.

And if someone were to draw a picture of Grace, it could only be the Cross. The ultimate example of mercy and forgiveness and love, the ultimate (as Sara Groves sings) “invitation to be beautiful.”

Grace is strong. And powerful. And utterly healing. And while examples of grace are all around, I think they are also unique enough that the world takes notice. Grace doesn’t follow cultural norms. Grace gives second chances, breaks through all boundaries to call someone “Beloved.”

Grace is, as Paula Rhinehart describes, the ability to see people as “glorious ruins.” Yes, we are ruins – but grace can see through the crumbling walls of our lives into the glory that was meant to be and will one day be, and the beauty that already is.

I long to be graceful, to be that place of peace and rest and love and second chances.

In ballet, grace is the most elusive and vague of qualities – it is some combination of strength and fluidity, something that appears to be light and gentle but takes incredible strength and muscles to accomplish.

I think it is like that in life, too.

Amazing grace, indeed.

 

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Entry filed under: words.

my own apartment? I’m a big girl now! and she is indeed alive

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. singamelody  |  September 11, 2011 at 10:54 am

    Beautifully written. I honestly can say this is one of my favorite of your blog posts. πŸ™‚

    Reply
  • 2. Annie  |  September 11, 2011 at 9:13 pm

    amen. i love this, all of it. these words are beautiful, and they are grace.

    Reply
  • 3. memory  |  September 27, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    grace IS a beautiful word!

    enjoyed your post on annie’s musings. beautiful job well done! i’m inspired.

    πŸ™‚

    xo,
    mem

    Reply

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