READING BETWEEN THE PINES

If life's about the journey, does it matter how many bathroom breaks you take along the way?

Long before I understood if I would, should or could have children, I knew that my firstborn daughter would be named Grace. And so she was. Prior to that, before my husband and I had yet to lay eyes on each other, I further knew that “Amazing Grace” would be the cornerstone song on our wedding day. And so it was. For as long as I can remember I’ve been infatuated with the word and its underlying meaning, yet only as I’ve grown older am I beginning to understand the elemental reasons why.

Grace

The concept of grace is rooted in forgiveness, not because you have to, but because you feel compelled to for the greater good. It’s centered on extending a helping hand in equal proportion to a stranger as a friend when intuition tells you it’s needed most.

Grace is elegant. It’s refined. It’s a knowing nod instead of a harsh word…silence in lieu of “I told you so”.

It’s a compromise in a world of growing contrasts.

Grace is personal. It grows from the strongest place in each of our individual hearts and is grounded in benevolence, compassion and love.

Grace is all about smiling and shaking your head in the grocery store line or parking lot when someone cuts you off. It’s laser-focused on giving others the benefit of the doubt when they’re behaving badly, because perhaps they live between layers of hurt that openly present as pain.

Grace is courteous. It’s is a promise of tolerance, understanding and in many cases, leniency.

Grace is often underserved and can be counted as one of life’s great gifts.

heartMaybe the root of my lifelong infatuation with grace springs from a fundamental knowledge that as a human being I can do better, be better, forgive more and judge less. Perhaps that one tiny word is the key to a life well-lived – an easy mark with monumental consequences.

I want to help create and exist in a world of tolerance. Of acceptance. Of peace. The path to all of these places is deeply personal. And it starts with grace.

peace

Art created by Tsjisse Talsma

8 thoughts on “On Giving Grace

  1. Lovely – thanks for sharing your thoughts. I particularly appreciated that you illustrate it as a human capability and not connected in any way to organised religion.

    1. There’s a line in “Chasing Cars” by Snow Patrol: I need your grace to remind me to find my own.
      So easy to forget to even look!

      1. So so so true! Thanks for taking time to read and comment. =)

  2. Susan Francke says:

    My infatuation with the word Grace came much later for me. But is the word I think of most often. I fight everyday to offer it to myself and to those around me, those I know well and those who just merely cross my path. It is the word that I will gracefully tattoo on the inside of my wrist if I can ever overcome my deep fear of needles. Thanks for giving it even more meaning. And for reminding me why I think the world of you. Miss you.

    1. We share so many things in common Susan including the aforementioned fear of needles. I think that will serve us well in the long run. =p I forgot to mention giving myself grace, which is often a trait that’s forgotten in our “do more, do now, be perfect world.” I’m determined to head your way in the fall by the way. You know you’ll be my first call. Thanks for taking the time to thoughtfully comment. Miss you too!

  3. Beth says:

    Beautiful!

  4. Suzette Brauch says:

    Beautifully written. Such a good reminder for me as I navigate life. Thank you for sharing this.

  5. Rich Schumacher says:

    Beautiful words Stacie. Thank you.

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