It slips in–a blast of spring air on a summer afternoon. It is the day you’ve dreaded for months dawning rose and gold and bearing the unexpected flag of friendship. It is the rowdy toddler taking a break from tearing apart the house to curl in your lap and pat away your salty tears with fingers too pudgy to be this gentle. It is the quiet lick of the faithful dog you just screamed at to go away edging against you until his body arches around yours. It is steaming Earl Grey with a friend who understands the best words are a listening ear–who does not empathize through sharing her own struggles until you know with certainty her heart breaks for yours.
The lifeline of grace is not always a matter of covering a wrong or forgiving a debt; often it is offering a shoulder in the grieving room over the weeks and months when the war still rages after the battle has been won. When the ground shifts and your feet stumble to find the bedrock of Christ, grace is the harness around your waist that keeps you from hurling yourself off the cliff in despair. Grace says I trust You because You are trustworthy, even when I cannot see it. Grace puts fire in your eyes and pushes you into tomorrow when today balls you on the floor.
Holiness is undeserved grace. Manifesting the fruit of the Spirit when reason demands lashing out in angry pain is grace’s banner. Hope is its gift.
Grace and peace be unto you through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.