Grace Within The Words

I have a vein in my body that I believe pumps all the dreams and creativity to my heart where they must be processed and turned to action, or risk clogging my poor little heart, causing it to swell to bursting point...

You know that I am mostly joking, right? Because I'm pretty sure my veins carry nothing but blood cells and oxygen. ;)

But if I had this vein, today, it would be pumping so much to my heart that my brain and heart cannot process it quickly enough. My heart is swelling; demanding that I do something. But I have no idea what to do. There are so many words, so many thoughts, so many pictures passing through that I can only stand here, open-mouthed, heart pounding and aching, and do nothing but think, "Oops."

But the thing that is grabbing my attention the most is the simple word: Grace.

And maybe that's because last night I got into a silly discussion about grace, acceptance, tolerance and how Christians should or should no contain all three of those things for the sinners of the world who will not repent and turn to Christ. Like a graceless idiot, I got angry and lost my temper...and dropped my grace on the ground. There I stood, heart pounding and aching, open-mouthed, and thinking, "Oops."

But here is the thing: I am a writer...and my stories are fiction. But in every story that I sit down to write, I am asking God to breathe life into wretched, messed-up, sinful little ragamuffins that are trying to do things their own way but doing a miserable job at it. Some of my characters get drunk, kiss the wrong girl, kill the wrong person (well, not really), curse God when their life falls to shambles, and, sometimes, turn their back on him like a stubborn little child. But grace always steps in and sweeps the filth away.

Isn't that how it really works? Isn't that how you and I once were? Did you ever kill the wrong person? No? But maybe you kissed the wrong person, rallied at God when things didn't go your way, or crossed your arms in stubborn indignation? Because I have. Well...except for the kissing part.


noun /grās/ 
graces, plural

  1. Simple elegance or refinement of movement
    • - she moved through the water with effortless grace

  2. Courteous goodwill
    • - at least he has the grace to admit his debt to her

  3. An attractively polite manner of behaving
    • - she has all the social graces

  4. (in Christian belief) The free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings

  5. A divinely given talent or blessing
    • - the graces of the Holy Spirit

  6. The condition or fact of being favored by someone
    • - he fell from grace because of drug use at the Olympics

  7. A period officially allowed for payment of a sum due or for compliance with a law or condition, esp. an extended period granted as a special favor
    • - another three days' grace

  8. A short prayer of thanks said before or after a meal
    • - before dinner the Reverend Newman said grace

  9. Used as forms of description or address for a duke, duchess, or archbishop
    • - His Grace, the Duke of Atholl

verb /grās/ 
graced, past participle; graced, past tense; graces, 3rd person singular present; gracing, present participle

  1. Do honor or credit to (someone or something) by one's presence
    • - she bowed out from the sport she has graced for two decades

  2. (of a person or thing) Be an attractive presence in or on; adorn
    • - Ms. Pasco has graced the front pages of magazines like Elle and Vogue

Don't you just love that definition of grace? I especially love the 'acting in a polite, attractive manner'. So, my philosophy is not only does God love my stories of the messy person that lacks grace yet is in dire need of it, but he also loves me and every other dreadful sinner out there that cannot figure out how to make themselves clean. My God is love, acceptance (and I'll go so far as to say patiently tolerant), and will never ever cross his arms in indignation and turn his back on me, or them! Because of that, I will do my best to join in the fun and behave in an attractive, polite manner, while finding those people that have never tasted of grace and wrap them up in it with the love of Christ that is in me. Because I owe my Savior that much, don't I? If He gave me such a wonderful, irreplaceable gift such as grace, then shouldn't I be giving it freely to every single person around me? Even if I don't think they deserve it?

"Grace strikes us when we are in great pain and restlessness. It strikes us when we walk through the dark valley of a meaningless and empty life...It strikes us when, year after year, the longed-for perfection does not appear, when the old compulsions reign within us as they have for decades, when despair destroys all joy and courage. Sometimes at that moment a wave of light breaks into our darkness, and it is as though a voice were saying: "You are accepted. You are accepted, accepted by that which is greater than you, and the name of which you do not know. Do not ask for the name now; perhaps you will find it later. Do not try to do anything now; perhaps later you will do much. Do not seek for anything, do not perform anything, do not intend anything. Simply accept the fact that you are accepted." If that happens to us, we experience grace."

~The Shaking of the Foundations by Paul Tillich


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