Day 16 of Advent: Grace

How does one adequately define and contain this thing known as Grace?

The word in speech calms and soothes; it brings with it hope and the promise of salvation.

We know Grace when we see it, feel it, but what exactly is it?

Grace is unearned we learn, given freely to those most undeserving.

“Ask and you shall receive,” scripture teaches. “knock and the door shall open.”

So, is Grace answered prayer, outcomes relentlessly hoped and prayed for?

What of the unanswered prayers and doors never opened?

“There but for the Grace of God,” we utter somewhat sheepishly when the fickle, unpredictable hands of perceived misfortune pass us by.

What then when we are brought to our knees, when life unexpectedly and fiercely pivots into the unknown, the unwelcomed and unwanted new normal?

Is there Grace in the darkness, the mess, the despair?

Or does Grace only reside in the light, the clarity, the joy?

Does Grace come solely from above, from our God?

Or can we, spiritual beings in human flesh, also be Grace-ious, bestowing Grace upon each other?

Is God’s will the opposite or is it synonymous to His Grace?

How does one define Grace, this small big word that is so often referenced and yet so rarely fully grasped?

Perhaps, like beauty and God (and other such big small concepts), Grace is defined by its beholder and is also beyond definition.

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