Struggling with Grace

It was like a signal had been transmitted from the atomic clock.

Students, colleagues, acquaintances, and even a few friends, descended on me with last minute requests. More time to finish an assignment, pleas for help in navigating an administrative maze, urgent calls for recommendation letters, and . . . well, just about anything that didn’t seem to move items off my personal to-do list.

Every time I looked at the growing list, I felt a little more harried and I slowly sank into the convenient and comfortable role of martyr and saint.

Photo Credit: Creative Commons/fabbio

Photo Credit: Creative Commons/fabbio

From somewhere, I heard the question, “Where’s your grace?”

Grace is a long-held virtue of all truly great people. Grace is granting unmerited assistance. Grace is patience. Grace is persistence. Frankly, grace is a slippery object for me to grasp.

True grace creates a defined space that often looks like a peace table or a kitchen table or a coffee table. This space, this grace, is filled with conversation . . . and forgiveness . . . and defined by accountability.

I sometimes wish that giving grace came easy. Honestly, I selfishly wish that withholding grace came easy, too. But the struggle between the two extremes brings value and depth and, ultimately, strength to my relationships with others.

And so, on this day sure to be filled with interruptions, I ask myself, “Where’s your grace?”

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