She is and isn’t what you picture when you think of a little old lady. She stands straight and tall but her walk added by a cane is unsteady. She just turned ninety-years old but her mind is sharp as a tack. Her name is Grace. She is the epitome of that word. On Sunday mornings, I am her chauffeur. Each week after I escort her to the car and make sure she is buckled in, she rummages through her purse for ten dollars which she places in the cupholder. I have stopped telling her she doesn’t have to pay me to drive her to church it is my pleasure because I know her response will be “this car doesn’t run on air.” Last fall when her sister died I told her “you can’t pay me today. Today’s ride is my gift to you in honor of your sister.” “Oh, okay but…” “No buts. This ride is for your sister.”
This past Sunday as I was leading her towards the car, she told me to lead her towards the small covered bridge over the stream that runs behind her granddaughter’s house. “I want to show you something.” The little stream meanders through the forest and cascades down two waterfalls and with the cold weather there is just the right amount ice clinging to the rocks. “Grace, if I lived here I would sit on this bridge and watch that stream. It is beautiful” “That’s what I do in the summer.” “Thank you for showing me.” “I knew you would like it.” In that moment, I was awestruck by what just happened. Grace gave me all she had to give. It was like the story of the widow’s mite but even more that moment felt like unmerited favor. It felt like grace.
“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.” 1 Peter 4:10-11 NIV
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9
Frederick Buechner in Wishful Thinking: A Seeker’s ABC states:
“Grace is something you can never get but can only be given. There’s no way to earn it… The grace of God means something like: Here is your life. You might never have been, but you are because the party wouldn’t have been complete without you. Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid. I am with you. Nothing can ever separate us. It’s for you I created the universe. I love you. There’s only one catch. Like any other gift, the gift of grace can be yours only if you’ll reach out and take it. Maybe being able to reach out and take it is a gift too.”
I am grateful for God’s grace and my friend Grace.
- A Call to Love
- Have Faith in God