BloPoMo Day 7: “Giving Wings to Grace”


Did you know that grace can be sent?

It is as simple as a stamp on an envelope,

A name on a package, or an address in the To: field.

Grace is given in the remembering.

Grace is given in letting someone know that you remember.

Grace is given in the “Hello, how are you?”

Grace is spoken in the “I’ve been thinking about you”.

When we assure another that they are not forgotten in the crush and swell of this world,

That is grace.

We can twine our words round with kindness, compassion, and love, like wrapping paper and ribbon.

We can give grace in a “hello”,

Extend it in an “I love you”,

Gift it with a “you matter”.

We give grace a face when we listen in silence.

We give it wings when we acknowledge another’s pain.

We give it hands when we reach out.

Sometimes, our grace is small, childish, as simple as a shared cookie or bag of caramels.

Sometimes our grace is broken as we work through our own pain, but we make the attempt.

Sometimes our grace is beautiful, opalescent, forgiving, and extravagant.

Sometimes our grace is just blue ink on lined paper and starts out, “I just wanted to say hello”.

Holding On


My Dearest Dears,

December has dawned in darkness and pain and grief. I have honestly avoided writing on all of this darkness because, well, it’s everywhere. Everyone is writing about it and good points have already been made. Outlining and highlighting the darkness is not my job. It is there, undeniable. It is truth, the starkest, coldest truth for some people, and what may be their only truth this Christmas. The statistics are there, etched and grooved in their own stoney reality. More shootings than there are days in the year. Families torn asunder on what was supposed to be a fun night out. A quiet dinner interrupted by a hail of gunfire and shrapnel. No, no one needs me to delve deeper into the darkness.

What is my job, though, is get out of the way of the light. No, I am not suggesting that we silver line these people’s pain. No. Never. I have never experienced such utter, violent loss. I have no frame of knowledge from which to speak to their pain. But I can acknowledge it and I do, with all my heart. I acknowledge their loss, their pain, their grief, their anger, their sadness, and join it in with them. I do not know these people, any of them here or abroad, but that doesn’t mean that I cannot take their grief as much to heart as I would those close to me.

But there is something else that I take to heart along with that grief. Something that I have noticed in so much of the aftermath of these events: the voices that come out of them. The voices of those who suffer this grief and loss. Their voices that call, beg, plead for peace. Their voices that admonish us to love, hold, do good unto, and care for others. Their voices that call for forgiveness. Their voices and lives that are the living proof that grace is a better choice than bitterness.

As we begin to close out this first week of Advent, this week of Hope, I am taking those voices to heart and soul. There may not be much or anything at all that I can do on a large scale, nor would I even know where to start, honestly, but I can do my best to do as they have asked. I can do my best to live in peace. I can love, hold, do good unto, and care for others. I can forgive. I can give grace instead of sinking into bitterness.

I can hold on to hope.