Pondering Grace: Tender Times

The networks, news, and internet are ablaze with such hard things. I need to sit quietly and think of what grace looks like in the middle of these difficult (some might say desperate) times. It’s a bit of a whirlwind, isn’t it?

A leader among leaders finishes her race. People from around the world flock to remember her. Some, like me, have a moment of quiet thankfulness and salute her from across the ocean. Some are too busy to pause and remove their hat in respect.

Tens of thousands begin a race full of anticipation and hot-blooded tenacity early in the morning. Hundreds celebrate their finishes and shiny medals. Some never finish. Many will never be the same, bearing the pain and wounds and marks of men’s plans—nothing short of evil.

A young boy looks on—and then looks on Eternity.

A sleepy town in Texas tries to catch its breath from the headlines like the rest of us. Devastating power unleashes with an overwhelming boom! Fire spreads and consumes. Heavy clouds hang low. Exhausted first responders. A whole community mourns the immense losses. The nation pauses and gasps in disbelief. Some weep. Some hope for those who can’t muster it.

Ice, snow, and rain dawdles as it creeps across the most of the country—as if we could be washed. But, it keeps coming. And it’s harder to keep safe and dry. For some it’s inconvenient. Others watch their precious things float and bob, anxious to wake up from what has to be just a bad dream.

I whisper, “God, where is grace?”

I wait.

I know the stories of grace will come. I trust for that. I know I will recognize precious celebrations of grace. Spared lives. Lives bearing the marks of the cruel spring never to be forgotten, but somehow blooming in the summer.

Some of the grace will bring hot, salty tears—a strange yet lovely grace. Pairs, families, whole groups weeping together. Stories of precious comfort in the heaped-up pile of sadness. United lives. Lives entwined for years to come, or for eternity.

The dust has yet to settle. Some are still suspended in the shock that comes before the real pain hits. Some are too busy, or too afraid not to be busy.

I am choosing to pause.

I am looking for the grace.

Wouldn’t it be sweet to gently show each other where the grace is?

Dear God, let the sweet scent of your grace waft nearby, gently surrounding, reminding of your nearness. Let your heart that loves fiercely, saddens deeply, and longs to heal completely be right here in the middle of all of this whirlwind. We’ll keep looking for you. Don’t let us miss you in the middle of this.



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