I attended a luncheon at church today. It's theme was centered around a woman's journey of grace. One speaker spoke of her experience teaching prenatal classes to Hispanic women. Another, a hospice chaplain, talked about giving and receiving grace at the bedside of one who is dying. Well, I don't have to tell you that I cried, those silent tears dripping down your face kind of crying, through the whole thing. Seriously, folks, I have to get over this.
I've cried so much over the past few years, I've learned not to let them get in the way. Through the misty haze of tears, I looked at the 35 women in the room. Most I have known since coming back to Jacksonville. Others, are faces only. I don't even speak their language. But there we sat, together in a small room, over good food (delightfully prepared by grace-filled hands) sharing the experience of God's grace. We ranged in age from pre-teen to 103. We come from different places and backgrounds, yet, together as women of faith, our common blessings make us sisters.
I thought about the gifts given to the Guild of the Christ Child that will be distributed to mothers and babies none of us will ever know. A simple box filled with a few basics, and a note that shares Divine grace between the giver and the recipient. I thought about the day I was tasked by an unseen but holy spirit, to start this ministry. And I zipped through the last 6 years to the place it has come to rest today, the work of many hands. An idea whose time had come. In fact I finally met a woman from another city whose group, Busy Hands for Babies, has been making and sending all kinds of baby items to the guild for a couple of years. Grace is like a kid's game of tag. Once you're touched, you must find someone else to touch in a similar way.
Being filled with grace is similar to being in that thin place I've been writing about. The questions we were asked today are the same I posed last week about seeing God in your day. How has your life been touched by grace, and how have you graced the life of someone else? Food for thought topped off with a chocolate brownie.
A friend wrote on her blog tonight that "gratitude begets peace." I venture to add to that grace begets gratitude. "If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, 'thank you,' it would suffice."*
Tonight, I pray that God's grace will find you and that you will pass it on.
* Meister Eckhart