I looked up Wikipedia for the definition of grace.
Looking up things in Wikipedia is usually a mistake.
But I needed some reassurance so I went to the online dictionary
And it came out a little something like this:
Elegance or beauty of form, action, manner or motion; a pleasing or attractive quality, favor or goodwill, a manifestation of favor by one’s superior, mercy.
See, it gets messy here in humanity.
There are those that think they have the corner on the market of grace.
And because they do, they get to judge who gets it and who doesn’t and why they should or shouldn’t.
We humans are like that.
We like to judge.
We like to put things into categories.
We put labels on them, sort them, and then condemn those for not sticking to their little labels, and tell others that they’re going to be punished.
It’s Barbi and GI Joe on a much grander scale.
When Barbi did something wrong, she got put into the toy box and pulled out later after she was significantly punished….
Except our judgment is a little twisted.
Our human survivalist notions of self-preservation clouds our vision so that only if things are in my category, my label, my sorting decides who gets punished.
We have the idea that we are in the job of handing out justice rather than correcting our own mistakes.
We offer judgment rather than observation.
We offer righteousness without self-reflection.
“Barbi you are guilty of driving Ken’s sport coup under the influence of Coco Puffs through the neighbor’s back yard and now there is mud on the carpet, you are sentenced to your box.”
You can’t just traipse through life driving someone else’s sport coup and getting mud on the carpet.
So, what about grace?
We decide whether or not we are capable of handing out grace.
It’s because we have a hard time defining what grace is to begin with and how it applies to us. I have a hard time defining what it is, what it means. How can I explain something that I don’t apply in my life? How can I offer something that I have no idea what it is?
But somewhere there has to be grace. Someone has to figure that one out. I can only define grace because I’ve seen it once or twice.
A stream of relief that comes when you least expect it.
A merciful moment in the middle of chaos.
A mother telling her story of her first born that lived for only for moments, choosing to hold her baby until the last breath was taken and heartbeat stopped.
A parent offering of forgiveness to the teen-aged child who made the mistake of shooting his schoolmates, including her own son.
A woman pleading for mercy in the sentencing of the boy whose careless deed permanently disfigured her.
A violent drug-addicted offender choosing recovery on a daily basis.
Holding the hand of a dying parent whose deeds left scars no human is able to heal.
These are what I call grace,
and while I don’t know that I am capable of any of these things
I know, they exist for me to have something to look at
And capture and hold in my heart
For they show me
What it really means to be human.