I believe in grace. Not the kind of grace that sashays down a sidewalk, but the kind of grace that warms you like a favorite blanket. Grace that is hard won and soft spoken. Not the cheap grace of agreeing with or doing something that you would have done anyway. Grace is symbolic of something deeper, stronger within a person. Grace is not easily recognizable nor is grace, once witnessed, easily forgotten.
Grace is seeing something or someone other than yourself. Grace holds its tongue, grace offers a hand, grace is there when nothing or no one else is.
The men in my life have grace. Yet, they are rarely graceful. These men have a grace that is almost blinding in its power. I have watched my husband sit a loving vigil with his grandmother for ten days while she died. He held her hand and stroked her hair and told her how much she was loved. He listened and laughed as she shared her favorite stories with him. And he didn’t cry when she asked him not to.
My sons have grace; they get it from their father. My middle son won’t go to sleep until he hears his older brother come home; he waits patiently in his bed and says “Goodnight John” and I’ve heard him mutter “I love you” just enough so its said but barely audible. My oldest son’s grace is never audible. His grace is all in the action. As a first grader he heard a NPR report about kindergartners in Indiana that didn’t have books at home. In response, he collected 1,500 books for IPS kindergartners. When he delivered the books for each student, the teacher hugged him and said he was an angel. He smiled, said “okay”. His grace embarrasses him. Our youngest son is three so his grace is incredibly fleeting. But sometimes…When his friend is sad he offers a favorite bear or blanket. No words; he’ll just cover you up with that smelly, holey blanket of love.
I watch the men in my life stubble around our home knocking over anything that is not nailed down. Graceful, they are not. But their grace inspires me every single day. The paradox of so much grace residing in a vessel virtually graceless is astounding.
I believe in grace, but I don’t always have it. Sometimes I am ungracious. Probably more often than I would care to admit. And it is in those moments that I realize how much I believe in grace. I believe and in doing so I strive with a little help from my boys.
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