Grace -- Five Minute Friday

November 02, 2013

It's been months (maybe even a full year) since I've participated in Five Minute Friday over at Lisa-Jo's. I thought I'd make a little bit of time this morning to give it a go.  I have such great intentions of writing new posts, but I never make the time.  Surely I can carve out five minutes of this Saturday morning to jot down some thinking about the overwhelming topic of grace.


I have only come into a real understanding of grace in the past decade. I spent far too many years not understanding that God's grace covers every ugly thing I've done or said or thought.  I didn't understand the power of His grace or attribute it to getting me through some very tough times.  I didn't understand that it was through His grace that I was able to extend grace to others.  I used to think that extending grace to someone who hurt me or was doing something I didn't agree with was the wrong thing to do.  Wasn't I supposed to be the example?  Oh, how pious of me.  I'm fairly certain no one has ever looked at me during those times I've been on my high horse and thought, "Gosh, I've got to work harder to be more like Jennifer." 

Yesterday we attended a funeral for an old friend.  This old friend was empty.  He sought for most of his 41 years to fill himself up with alcohol and pills and any variety of substances that would numb what is worse than pain -- emptiness.  I grieve for the life he should have had.  I know that I never showed him enough grace.  I confused grace with "It's OK that you're hurting yourself and everyone who cares about you."  Addicts need the grace of sober folks.  The broken need the grace of whole ones. 

We spent some time hugging the necks of friends we've had since we began dating -- my husband's friends before I ever came into the picture -- and friends that we met shortly after we were married.  We caught up.  We swapped stories.  I think inside we all were thinking, "Wow.  We are still here."  The concept of "but for the grace of God go I" isn't lost on me.  I stood next to the mother of one of my favorite people to ever walk this earth who sadly left us almost eight years ago and she said to me, "I can't help but still think of all of them as babies, but they're men now."  Ah, yes.  They're men now.  I think about her example of grace toward those men.  She could harbor bitterness that they survived some things that her son ultimately did not.  That's real grace. I know my husband will treasure the silver peace sign pendant he was given that Linda had made in the image of a tattoo Matt had on his chest -- a visible example of a mother's grace.

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