It’s all so improbable, this grace thing.
Looking for it. Finding it (mostly when you’re not looking, and mostly in the most improbable places).
Trying to live it might just be the most improbable of all.
I have long believed that God, besides being all-loving, all-knowing, all-powerful, and always present (or as I like to say – “omni-everything”), has a terrific sense of humor. Or timing. Or both.
Maybe He just likes to catch us off-guard, surprise and delight us, the way you do sometimes with small children, playing peek-a-boo when they’re babies, or hiding Easter baskets when they’re able to participate a bit more. You – or should I say I, because I have no way of knowing if you do this – hide them (the Easter baskets, not the children) in the most improbable places, like the pantry or the dryer or their brother’s toybox, which makes their delight (and yours) so much more delightful when they actually stumble across them.
Only the thing is that I am most decidedly not God.
As evidenced by the fact that as my children grew older and wiser (and smarter) I became much cleverer about where I hid their baskets. I wish I could say this was all about the children, but the truth is that the longer they had to search, the cleverer I felt. Which I’m fairly certain is not what Easter – and Easter baskets – are supposed to be about.
God is not like this, fortunately, so most of us can pretty much count on finding grace easier than my kids found their baskets filled with chocolate bunnies and candy-filled plastic eggs. But no plastic grass, of course. Because we had pets.
And I know this is not on-topic (or maybe it is), but the question just occurred to me – why a bunny at Easter? I mean, I don’t quite get that. Eggs, I get. New life and all that. Yes. Makes sense. But a bunny?
I mean, I guess rabbits are famous for having lots of babies, so maybe…something about lots of new births?
Obviously I don’t have quite enough time on my hands right now, because I haven’t yet Googled this.
I may do that at some point. But not just now.
Because just now I have nine-hundred-thousand pieces of music to learn. And nine-hundred thousand cookies to bake.
And also just now I’m sort of stopped in my (figurative) tracks by grace.
Maybe a bit in my literal tracks too.
Because grace (did I mention?) shows itself in the most improbable ways, at the most improbable times, in the most improbable places.
So, yeah. Kids.
Specifically, that kid.
Frankly, it could have been any of them. Honestly, it has been all of them.
It all just depends on the day and the thing, and the thing is, nobody ever told me that evolution is this slow and that we’re all just so flawed and that my kids weren’t going to be perfect, and that I wasn’t ever going to be either.
Life would have been an awful lot easier if I’d known this. I mean, I would have known.
I might have served up bacon more and served up sermons less. If I’d known that they – and I – were just going to be human, I mean.
Human and flawed. Like all of us, I guess.
We do things like hurt people’s feelings when we don’t mean to, and sometimes when we mean to.
It might make you might wonder if grace is just a girl’s name, and if we’re ever going to figure out how to really love agape like we’re supposed to.
He said “I’m sorry”. Via text, of course. Because this is how people talk these days.
And then “Are you mad?”.
And then “I’m sorry”.
Like repeating it is going to do anything except make me feel bad that I didn’t answer the first two texts.
And I tried to remember how hurt I was.
But honest, when I saw that last text come in, my phone blinking and winking at me to notice it, for the life of me all I could really remember was his first try at getting a Cheerio into his mouth way back when life was easy and problems were littler and so was he.
I remembered when I was the center of his small universe, and he was the center of mine, and the worst problems were that we were nearly out of diapers and that I was perpetually exhausted.
I remembered. Despite my best intentions not to remember. Because the thing is, when you’re human and you’re holding on to a grudge you’re not real open to anything that wants to dislodge it.
Spark of memory hitting dry tinder and flaming up, and you melt.
You melt into forgiveness. For your kid and for yourself and for all of us, really. For being human and flawed and not evolved as much as you’d hoped we’d all be by this time.
You melt into love, because really there’s nothing else that can even hold a candle to it and nothing else that’s more important.
You melt into grace, which has shown Her beautiful self again, and again in the most improbable of places, exactly when you needed Her to.
Which I guess is just what Grace does.