Wednesday, August 21, 2013
More Thoughts on Grace
With limited information about our unborn baby and her condition I found myself praying. A lot. I remember laying in bed one night as I kept praying for direction and guidance and out of the clear blue came a voice. It wasn't a voice anyone else would hear, but it was as if someone were speaking directly into my head, softly but clearly. And the voice simply said the word grace. Over and over again.
I instantly thought about the definition I was most familiar with, one that I had heard from a former boss. He said grace was getting something good, when you've done nothing to deserve it. I immediately thought about that definition in terms our of situation, specifically the need to show grace towards others in this new turn of events. While I knew that it wouldn't take long for her little body to look familiar to us, I also knew that every day for the rest of her life she would encounter people who had never seen her before, and who would in turn be curious and have questions. Some of these people would inevitably not handle their curiosity well--there would be staring, pointing and of course dreadfully rude and ignorant comments. I decided right then and there that I was going to do my best to handle these situations and in the process hopefully teach our daughter to handle these situations, with grace.
That is to say, that even if someone hadn't earned my kindness or respect, I would do my best to give it anyway. I would assume the good, and doubt the bad. I would choose to smile and educate, rather than turn away in offense. Especially because I felt that most people would be genuinely and innocently curious.
This has been a pivotal choice for me. In general, I am one of those people who likes to have the witty comeback, the right jab at the right moment. Say or do something mean to me and I will try to give it back and then some. Pride can come in all sorts of packages, but for me this is certainly a prominent manifestation of my pride. Thus, practicing grace isn't something that comes naturally. However, it seems that since making the decision to choose grace, especially when using it in specific application to our daughter and those who she comes in contact with, it has come rather naturally. I don't know why.
The day after having that experience--the voice that whispered grace--I sat down to find a talk on the LDS church's website. I was hoping to find a specific talk I had once heard and I remember searching the word, 'pain' among other terms hoping to find the right talk. Well I didn't find the talk I was looking for. So after who knows how many searches, I just clicked on a random talk. The speaker was unfamiliar to me and the topic seemed rather general, so I just sat and half-listened while I focused my time and energy on another task.
After a few minutes, seemingly out of nowhere, I suddenly heard the word grace. My ears perked up and I sat still and listened. As tears fell down my cheeks I heard that word over and over again, just as I had the night before, as I listened to an entirely new definition and idea of grace that I had never heard before. And while my initial ideas of grace were and are certainly valuable, I knew that this new-to-me definition of grace was what I was really meant to find.
Today's post is a follow up to yesterdays post on grace. There will be 2-3 more post on this topic as I attempt to straighten it all out in my head.