I’ve been thinking a lot about grace these days. I mean, like meditating, thinking about it. I’ve broken the word down, from a faith perspective to a general behavior perspective. I’ve thought about how I’ve received it over the years, and how I’ve given it. I’ve seen it modeled, and I’ve seen it lacking in situations. And the more I think about it, the more amazing, life-changing and powerful the word is. Grace. Have you ever thought about it?
I’ve been thinking about how thankful I am to have friends who root me on, who really support me, who love me, and who are there for me when I need it the most. Not acquaintances, mind you, those are folks you see a couple of times a year, maybe at your industry’s annual trade show, where you exchange pleasantries, get caught up on the year and wish them luck in the coming year. No, not those, but real friends. And what blows me away, and what I’m absolutely humbled by, is that many of my real friends, the folks who I speak with on a regular basis, not just when a favor is needed, really know me. They know my weaknesses, they know my struggles, they know my faults, my errors and my mistakes, and they still love me. Many I have had since high school and college, still great friends today I speak with on a regular basis. And you know what powers them to do that? Grace.
Grace is the very thing that looks past what you think are imperfections, and sees the heart of a person. Grace is the thing that replaces someone’s price sticker that says $4.99 with one that says $499.99. It’s the very thing that loves unconditionally, and it realizes it’s own insufficiencies, it’s own faults. Grace says, “Yeah, I know. So?” Grace is the one thing that this world could use more of on a daily basis, in so many facets of our life. From the server who’s having a bad day at the restaurant we visited for lunch, to the guy who cuts us off on our way home.
Grace doesn’t cost us a thing to give or receive, yet it’s so incredibly hard to build a behavior of. Why? We don’t see a lot of it given to us, which hardens us, makes us less willing to dish it out. It’s hard, because at least for me, I’m naturally selfish, I wanna take care of me. It’s hard because it’s counter culture to put others in front of ourselves, no matter the situation, yet grace does just that. It always holds the door open for others, it always leaves room for the second chance, and it always looks forward to what we can all become, not what we are or seem to be.
My favorite all-time band U2 had a song on the album “All That You Can’t Leave Behind”, interestingly to me, the song they end that album with, called “Grace.” And these are the lyrics, and they floored me then, and speak to me now, for Bono truly gets it. He gets what grace is, and what it becomes, and I hope you will, too. For I believe it can truly change us, and if embraced, can change the world. Here are the lyrics:
She takes the blame
She covers the shame
Removes the stain
It could be her name
It’s a name for a girl
It’s also a thought that changed the world
And when she walks on the street
You can hear the strings
Grace finds goodness in everything
Grace, she’s got the walk
Not on a ramp or on chalk
She’s got the time to talk
She travels outside of karma
She travels outside of karma
When she goes to work
You can hear her strings
Grace finds beauty in everything
Grace, she carries a world on her hips
No champagne flute for her lips
No twirls or skips between her fingertips
She carries a pearl in perfect condition
What once was hurt
What once was friction
What left a mark
No longer stings
Because grace makes beauty
Out of ugly things
Grace makes beauty out of ugly things.”
I, myself, have been graciously accepted by my friends and family, and owe a debt of gratitude to all of you who fit in those columns. We don’t journey this life alone, but alongside one another, and I really believe people are put into your life for a reason, to support you, to encourage you, to assist you, and to change you. And those who do it exhibiting true grace are a special people, are valuable to me, and I want to say how much I appreciate it. I live to more fully give grace on a daily basis as my repayment.