Grace Upon Grace…Upon Grace

If forgiveness is love.  Then grace is love times a million. Grace upon grace…upon grace.

As I sit here in my “no-running, bum-hip, post-mountain, ebb part of life” funk, the word grace permeates my mind again and again.   What is grace?

Grace can be defined as simple elegance or refinement.  Much like the fluidity of a dancer, an effortless poise as if floating on air.  Or as my friend described, “a ball of positive energy, seemingly careless in nature.  On stage, she dances around barefoot.”  Oh yes…this is grace. A graceful beauty.

Then there are the idioms surrounding grace:

  • grace period
  • to grace one’s presence
  • in a state of grace
  • by the grace of God
  • fall from grace
  • saving grace

But what is Grace?  The one with a capital “G”?

As I tried to define what it means to me, I return to forgiveness.  Forgiveness is love in regards to hurt.  Grace is love times a million. It doesn’t ask for anything in return. It is kindness, mercy, ” a second chance.” Saving grace. 

Often, I thought of grace as something you give to another.  Yes, this is grace.  But the more I travel through life, the more I realize that grace is a way of life.  Love times a million.  It is putting yourself aside, in order to view the world from the others’ perspective.  To walk in their shoes, despite your hurt.  Grace is a merciful love.

I visualize Grace as this serene spirit, afloat a big puffy cloud of love, breathing in with elegant, flowing arms and exhaling with a peaceful grin.  Breathing in, flowing arms, breathing out, peaceful grin.  Grace..easy, beautiful, rainbows, butterflies, love. Come hither and live out this gorgeous life of Grace. Yes, that sounds perfect! Sign me up!

Except, Grace is not attractive.  The path is not all rainbows and butterflies. Grace is hard. It.is.hard. For me it is.  Like a monumental tug-o-war between the heart and mind. The heart leans towards “love times a million”, while the mind retreats back to  “unfair and unjust”.  Living a life of grace is “tilty,” to use one of my 8-year-old son’s words.  The seesaw of the soul.  Tilty.

Grace says you are cherished, regardless of your flaws. Regardless of your mistakes. I have been covered in grace more times than I can count.  Because not only is grace given, but received. You.  You need to be gentle with yourself and cover your soul with that same merciful love. And it cannot be done alone.

You have friends.  You have family. They will help you.  Let them. By the grace of God, let them in. Even when you think you can climb out of the pit alone.  Grace is love times a million, and relationships are why we are here. No one scores extra points for being a tough-skinned loner 24 hours a day. #heedmyownadvice

I suppose that since most of hurts come through relationships, so will our healing. And I know that grace rarely makes sense for those looking in from the outside.” -The Shack.

Healing with help will guide you to grace, so they say.  The path is by no means straight, level, or worn with ease.  Growing in grace, to me anyway, appears full of roots, blown downs, boulders and long, untraveled grass.  Tread gently.  Taking the first step is always the most difficult.

My heart knows that a life of grace is the way…but the heaviness that envelops that undertaking overwhelms my heart at the same time. I know love times a million lives on the path forward.

If forgiveness is love, then grace is love times a million.  A work in progress, forever I will be.  But I am thinking about grace, just beginning to scratch the surface…and that is a step. A gentle, treading step.  Grace upon grace.  Upon grace. 

Bravely on the messy path of love times a million,

J

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