gift

The one whose wrongdoing is forgiven,
    whose sin is covered over, is truly happy!
The one the Lord doesn’t consider guilty—
    in whose spirit there is no dishonesty—
    that one is truly happy!

Psalm 32: 1-2

I remember when the day when, as a sassy teenager having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day, Mrs. Stubblefield sent me out of the accounting class and into the hall.  As I awaited my punishment for smarting off one too many times, I remember thinking, oh well, I earned it, the detention or whatever she was about to dole out to teach me lesson.

That’s not what happened.  She finished the section she was teaching the class, and then she came out to deal with me.  She looked square into my eyes, and instead of issuing punishment, she simply said, “What’s wrong?, What’s going on?, I’m here if you need to talk.”  She offered me grace, and I never forgot it.  Ever.

Did I deserve the detention?  Yes.  Did I get it? No.  That’s forgiveness, mercy, and grace –  the actions of love.

God gifts us the same grace.  It’s because that’s who God is and how God rolls.  God is love, and love in action most commonly reveals itself in mercy, forgiveness, and grace.

This is our model from Philippians 2:

Adopt the attitude that was in Christ Jesus:

Though he was in the form of God,
        he did not consider being equal with God something to exploit.
But he emptied himself
        by taking the form of a slave
        and by becoming like human beings.
When he found himself in the form of a human,
        he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death,
        even death on a cross.

May this be our mindset, our heart, our way of life.  The same way that Jesus shows us on The Cross, and that Mrs. Stubblefield showed me in the hallway.

Who can you gift with grace today?

Prayer: Peace Prayer of St. Francis

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.

O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Amen.

 grace-undeserved-gift