When the word “grace” is used, most think first of a descriptor of movement. It is not surprising that the more archaic definition of grace is not what quickly comes to mind but that definition is my favorite. For grace is the the greatest gift we can give others: the act of grace or giving mercy, kindness, clemency, et cetera.
We are all in need of both giving and receiving grace. And like hugs and a whole host of other two-fold things, the more you give, the more you receive. Depending on our perception of the experience, we may not see ourselves as having done anything special, and yet others disagree. Perception plays a significant role in the giving and receiving of grace.
Years ago, I had a professor share this vignette to drive home the value of perception. The professor’s name, even the course, eludes me now, but the story has stayed.
Imagine there is a jet airplane that crashes. All passengers and crew are affected. Some are killed outright, some are horribly injured, only to die later of those injuries. Others are injured but recover. And some walk away seemingly unscathed. It is easy to rank the injuries from greatest to least, to say that some were more hurt by the crash. But the truth is that ALL were in a plane crash and even the least scarred bear the marks of the experience.
On this day of quoting Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have a Dream” speech, let me share my dream with you.
May all who encounter you along life’s journey give you grace. May all see you as someone just as themselves: one whose travels have left their marks, both seen and unseen. And may all give you grace.