I grew up hearing the word grace on a near daily basis. My mother worked hard and sacrificed to keep me in a private Christian school. We had chapel and Bible classes daily. We went to church. Grace was a buzz word being kicked around like the soccer ball after school. And it was just as hollow and empty as that ball.
After decades of hearing the word my view of grace was this:
“Grace is what God hands out instead of punishment. I don’t deserve grace because as a human being I’m a worthless thing that deserves only to be punished and used no matter how hard I try to do the right thing. Grace is random. Grace is just meant to keep me coming back like a scared dog never knowing if the day would bring food or a kick.”
For the child me, grace was an incongruent concept to the shame and destructive seed of self doubt and loathing sown into field of my tender heart. The concept I had of grace was in short of big old lie that tormented me endlessly with fear and disconnected my soul from the Oneness of the Infinite Divine.
It was in learning the truth of Grace that my entire view of the Divine and myself changed from fear to freedom. I may be done with formal religion and the Church, but I’m far from being done with the Oneness of Spirit. Grace is why.
What is Grace?
A dancer moves with grace. A host or hostess is gracious. Religious people say Grace. We name daughters Grace. We have a Grace period to pay bills. There’s obviously something more going on than a religious concept.
Grace can be refinement or favor. It’s the word favor that got my attention at first. I researched the word one day because that’s just how I roll. Here are the synonyms’ for grace: Poise, Charm, Politeness, Good Manners, Favor, Approval, Acceptance, Regard, Respect, Blessing, Dignity, Kindness. All of these meaning come from the secular use of the word. Since the word predates Christian theology and is therefore a universal concept I decided to research the word in Latin since that is were our current word “Grace” is derived from. The word itself is a middle English word derived from the Latin “Gratis” or grateful.
To have grace is to be grateful. To be full of grace is to be full of gratitude.
To dance with grace is to dance with gratitude.
To be a gracious hostess is to be a grateful hostess.
To say grace is to express gratitude.
To name our children Grace is to express gratitude for their lives.
To receive a grace period on bills is to be shown gratitude for payment by the creditor and to express gratitude by the debtor.
Grace is gratitude.
Let that sink into you. Grace is Gratitude.
And there’s not room for shame or self loathing in the Light of Grace.
Be Well and in Peace,