Today I was about stepping out of the taxi and it had started snowing a lot, when this guy opened the door to get in while I was still getting ready to step out. I stepped out and said a ‘thank you’. My thank you was playfully ironic, because yes he opened the door for me but the polite thing to do would have been to wait for me to get out of the cab before almost shooing me out so he could get in.
I started walking really fast to get into the train station because it was snowing so much and I heard him calling after me. I looked back and realized that as I was rushing out of the cab, my iPhone had slid out of my jacket pocket. He gave it to me.
If he wasn’t there to open the door while I was still trying to get out of the cab, I would be looking for my iPod everywhere right now and wouldn’t have a clue that it had fallen out of my pocket.
This is interesting because throughout the weekend, I had been thinking about my experience of the word ‘grace’ and the perfect analogy for it. I finally found it. Today’s incident captures grace best for me.
Grace to me is this unexpected interruption of the status quo in my life that is surprising yet mostly underestimated and often ends up saving the day. Because it happens in a sliver of a moment I can easily forget it even though it has made a big difference in my life.
Most often in life, we see all those things that are yet to happen or didn’t happen the way we wanted them to happen in our lives. We see our failings and our failures. They seem so obvious to us, but we fail to see those little graces that save the day. Those people we almost didn’t meet but got to meet and led us to the next level. Those things we almost didn’t do but ended up doing and were glad we did. Those places we almost didn’t go but found out we were there in perfect timing. Those improvements we have made over time. Those little serendipitous moments that changed our whole lives yet we easily overlook.
I remember reading this guy make a risqué analogy of God’s grace in his life. He called it divine manipulation. I know manipulation is not a very comfortable word to use, but I relate to that divine manipulation in my life. Yet because it is backed by powerful love, and the best intentions for me, I look back and am grateful for it even though you can bet I kicked and protested initially.
I am so grateful for little graces. They are small but mighty in my life. Like that guy that was there in the nick of time to pick my iPod right as it fell off my pocket, grace is there to pick up the ball when we have just recently dropped it. To pick up faith when we have just dropped it. To pick up hope when we can’t seem to muster it. To pick up love when we have run dry of our own reserves.
The most painful failure might not be when others fail us but when we have failed ourselves. Grace allows us to know there is still another chance to rise up to our true self- not that self that our vices taunt us into believing we are, but that self is divine and reflects the essence of God.
I love grace and I love how Jesus is described as full of grace and truth by one of his followers, John. Grace is the only lens for finding the truth in this world and attempting to be aligned with it, at least for me. As a Christian, I am called to paint a picture with my life. A picture that gives a gift to everyone that sees it- God, others, even myself, now and in the future. I am to receive the gift of unconditional love and then keep receiving it as it transforms my own life into a gift. Without grace, I would probably kick too hard and run off in the opposite direction or I would feel too incapable of attempting to create something beautiful with my life and then give up.Grace enables me to rise above and up to every challenge.
The beautiful thing about grace is that although grace brings out the best in you, grace with wait on you too. Grace will let you cry, grace will dry your tears, grace will watch you acting up and wait for you to be ready to come back to your senses, then grace will love you back to your senses.
Grace allows me freedom to make mistakes and know I can still return home. Grace allows me to try to find myself without fear of being lost. Grace allows me to know the best is yet to come. Grace also lets me know that even when I feel like it, it is never over. If need be, grace lets me retrace my steps without fear of rejection. Grace is a gift that asks me to receive it and then grace is a gift that changes my mundane life into a gift.
In relating to others, I hope grace can be my prejudice.
How about you? What are those little coincidences and graces in your life? Those moments you almost let go and your figurative ‘iPod’ was picked up for you and placed back into your hands? Its so easy to forget these things… these small but mighty graces.
Your strength comes from God’s grace, not from rules … which don’t help those who follow them – Hebrews 13:9