Having spent a lifetime living in the forest, abusing and killing the forest animals, the old man now lay dying in the clearing. The day had finally come when he could move no further. As he lay there, too weak to even move his head, his faithful dog, the one he had often abused and neglected, cautiously came over to him and rested his head on the old man’s arm. In that moment, he understood grace. And so he died, no longer feeling angry, but simply being in the moment, a moment of grace.
Grace does not have to be earned. It comes to all alike. It is an assurance, an explanation of why things are never quite hopeless, and why we seldom receive the full harvest of the error we sow, and why we receive a little more good than we sow.
In being aware of ordinary moments of grace, let’s notice that unexpected phone call from an old friend, the signal lights that are green on our way to work, being in the fast line at the grocery store, that good sing-along song on the radio, and the keys being right where we left them.
In providing everyday grace to others, ordinary acts of kindness become the normal way of doing things. Choosing to love as a matter of course incorporates hope, forgiveness, and miracles in the fabric of our being and we step into life with a peace and calmness. No noises, no brass bands, no fanfares – just the effortless stance of one whose kindness cannot fail to be recognized.
Grace comes from an examination of our life in which we realize that we don’t deserve what we’re getting, yet we’re getting it anyway. It’s the difference between seeing life as an entitlement and seeing it as a gift.