(msn encarta dictionary)
kindness, kindliness, decency, favor, mercy, mercifulness, charity, benevolence, clemency, leniency, reprieve
act of mercy: an act that bestows or shows mercy toward another person.
I have a picture of grace that envelopes both "sides" of a loaded and charged situation. Its not that remarkable to rush to the defense of someone you call your friend and don't like to see hurting, but it is remarkable when the grace is so plentiful that both, diametrically opposed perspectives and the choices that flow from them can be viewed with decency, mercy, and clemency.
Its the kind of grace that allows plenty of room for differing viewpoints, and for the possibility of a new reality at some other time when wounds are not so weepy. Its the kind of grace that says; "We'll do this together." Instead of spending precious energy on choosing allegiances or nailing others firmly to their crosses, it speaks with tenderness of the hope for restoration. It shelters the weak and vulnerable from undue hurtfulness. It hopes against hope.
Paul says it best; "But for right now... we have three things to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly.
And the best of the three is love.