It's raining grace—close your umbrella
I've been thinking about grace lately—in all its forms. The grace we move through life with, the grace we say before meals, but, especially, the grace that comes to us in the form of blessings from God, our friends, our family, our neighbors, and even strangers.
Grace resides in the mundane of our everyday life. Grace is in the garden. Perhaps our morning cup of coffee. And in our conversations with friends and strangers. It does not come into our lives on a shooting star. In fact, I think it is always present, waiting to be noticed but never imposing itself.
A member of my spirituality group says that grace is constantly raining down on us, but, usually, we’re not ready to receive it because we keep our umbrellas up. I’ve certainly been guilty of that. I keep my umbrella up with my own ideas about what grace is. But, over the years, I’ve come to realize my expectations about grace probably made me miss a lot of it that showed up for me.
Even though we each may have different ideas about what grace is, the common thread that runs through it is it’s about receiving and accepting—a gift we do not earn, or maybe even deserve, but one we need when it is given to us.
Writer Anne Lamott sees grace as perplexing. She wrote, “I do not understand the mystery of grace—only that it meets us where we are, but does not leave us where it found us.”
There is one more Grace I’ve been thinking about lately—my Great Aunt Grace, who lived to be 92. On her 80th birthday, she announced to family and friends who came to celebrate her, “I’ve always said that I don’t want any flowers when I die. I want them all while I’m living.” Then with outstretched arms, giving us all a virtual hug, she said, “You are all my flowers.” Everyone in the room readily accepted her gift of grace that did not come through our own merit, but from the source where all grace comes from—love.
On this day, may you bask in the light of grace—a condition poet John O’Donohue called “the permanent climate of Divine kindness.”