The Meaning of Grace
It’s what you say at meals.
What you name your girl.
What you extend to the guy who cut you off in traffic.
It’s the birthday cake, but it’s also the buttercream frosting.
It’s the light dancing atop of your candles.
It’s the present you always wanted but never thought to ask for.
Go ahead. Unwrap it:
It’s the so-much to your not-enough.
The shine to your lackluster.
The double-portion to your table scraps.
It’s also sandpaper.
The kind that rubs you wrong, while rubbing you better.
Like how an old dresser becomes art, or an antique tractor shines.
It’s how the broken, rusted parts of people get made new again:
It’s not a rule
Or rabbit-in-the-hat trickery.
It’s not a spreadsheet
It’s not crossing your fingers in hopes,
or wagging your finger in faces.
It’s language of angels,
Silent Night in the dim sanctuary,
head under the baptismal waters,
(feel it beading on your face again,
or for the first time in forever.)
Sword-sharp Word of God,
silk edge of the wedding gown,
your own reflection, ruby, in the communion wine,
and the single tear sliding down your cheek when they sing your favorite hymn.
It’s true north
when everything goes south.
It’s the arm around your shoulder at the graveside,
the soft eyes of your Mom’s favorite nurse in the stale corridors of the cancer ward,
the kiss on the boo-boo,
the weight of his arm across your waist when you decide it’s never good to go to bed angry.
See it there in the shadows of your life:
It pursues you
but not with chains.
With stubborn love.
For this grace?
It delivers you.
Son of God forfeiting Heaven for you.
It is a friend who lay down His life,
not to condemn the world,
but to save it.
To save all of us.
It’s the cross.
It’s The More.
It’s your first breath, and your last,
and every one in between.
It’s in the miraculous and the mundane.
It’s scandalous and extravagant,
exceeding all that you wanted,
and avalanching you with everything you needed.
It’s your life.
And it’s your forever.
but don’t hoard it.
There’s enough to share.
Invite the world.
is for us.
Watch how it saves you:
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Grace messes me up in all the right ways.
Amen! The greatest gift of all. Grace. Love this, Jennifer. Thank you so much. <3
Love that “true north” and the photo with it!
I’m breathing in the grace and breathing out the praise…
Thank you, Jennifer. I so love how grace never condemns us or binds us with chains. I need that reminder daily.
Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. Every work, every image. Thanks so much! And I’m with Megan – that true north photo is poster worthy.
Oh.so.true! “It’s True North when all goes South.”
Reading this.. my heartbeat skipped and I got a lump in my throat because…. grace.
(Stubborn) Love that will not let me go. Faithful-ness when I am faithless. True North. All is grace.
Jennifer…I loved this.
wow. the words and the pictures … gently touching my hurting heart. thank you.
Oh Jennifer. This is exquisite. Where would I be without grace?
The is beautiful! Thanks for sharing such a wonderful message of GRACE! Every day is a gift, but sometimes we forget–thanks for the “graceful” reminder.
You’ve brought a “churchy” word into real life with your words and your pictures. Thank you.
I’m breathing this in deeply tonight. So beautiful!
Hi Jennifer! Beth mentioned that this was a wonderful post, and it is! Such a quiet, image-filled post, and I can relate to so much of it. Buttercream frosting, baptism, an arm at the gravesite. Those are what really spoke to me.
PS I won a copy of your book, just waiting for it to arrive. Can’t wait to read it!
Tears at 7:03 in the morning, Jennifer. Now I get to reapply the mascara and head out to the workaday grind…but with a vision of grace to smooth out the wrinkles of the day…thank you.