MSN Encarta Dictionary defines grace as :
generosity of spirit: a capacity to tolerate, accommodate, or forgive people.
Fantastic concept! And really easy to practise.
With small, furry pets. With the bagger at Safeway. Even with that moron who cuts you off in traffic. But people who are closely, intimately tied to oneself? With people whose daily small and large choices directly impact the life outcomes of those he/she lives and breathes with?
What does grace look like then? What does it mean when grace for others challenges and threatens one's own life concept or strongly held belief systems and convictions?
Maybe its an easier concept for people with flexible ideals. Or maybe for people who have very clear boundaries for themselves and others, and have something akin to a large mental walk-in closet. Here they are able to suitably store disappointments and fears without the door constantly flying open, allowing those fearful and ungracious little ogres to come crawling back to the foreground of thought and behavior.
This must be very closely connected with faith. With a loving God who enables waning-grace- wanna-be's with some great abilities to succeed at tolerating, accomodating, and forgiving. But even when it is a God thing, its gotta feel LOUSEY. Its got to feel like a lack of empowerment-- letting people get away with stuff that impacts others. Should they be allowed to do that?
Or is that the point? We can not control anyone, but we can trust that God's got our back? That good will ultimately win over evil? That the truth will always win? That faith is believing in things not seen? In things hoped for?
And what's to be done with the rage and sadness that the human body produces as routinely as excrement and perspiration? Is there an emotional shower or even a convincing body spray to mask the odours of fear and longing?
Is there a place for brute honesty while genuinely offering grace?
Or is it just really not about me.