Several years ago I was in a car accident and it was entirely my fault. I rear-ended a man and as soon as it happened all the sticky scenarios of what might happen began to run through my head. I immediately worried about what the driver might say/do or if this fender bender would end up in court and how severe his whip-lash would prove to be. Instead, he stepped over to my car, asked how I was, looked at his car and said, “Looks like nothing is hurt. Have a good day” and drove off. I was stunned and it occurred to me that I may not have acted as well had it been me who had been rear-ended. The grace the man showed to me that day was given with sincerity and in a spirit of love. I was grateful for it.
Lately I have been thinking a lot about the concept of granting grace and realize that I do not do it very well. Yesterday’s incident with Paul is a good example. He was acting like a teenage jerk and had painted himself in a corner with his bad attitude. It ended up that he gave me his telephone after I reminded him that he had a phone so I could talk to him at all times, so I could speak to him when I needed to. “Well, if you are going to make all these ridiculous contact rules I don’t even want the phone,” were his last words before it became mine.
The concept of granting grace within my interactions with the important people in my life is problematic. I wish it wasn’t. I want to be right (unfortunately) ALWAYS. I want my children acting respectful.ALWAYS. And with these types of notions of mine granting grace often becomes difficult. But really, in its most sincere form, granting grace is as simple as holding each other accountable for creating a safe environment where people can speak up without being fearful of repercussions and being committed to their success especially in those areas that are problematic for them. It is also being patient with yourself so you can grant that same patience and grace to your loved one.
And so as I go about my day today I am going to actively search for ways to grant grace to those around me. I hope others will do the same for me because I need some grace sent my way. Desperately.