Monday, January 11, 2016

Different Kinds of Grace

I am working in Texas.  My husband is still, for now, working in Minnesota.  But he got to visit for over two weeks at Christmastime, which was a wonderful gift.  We got to take some time off together, and he got to play at Christmas Eve and Sunday after Christmas services.  In fact, on Christmas eve, when we were without organ music for our largest service at 7:00 p.m, we received the gift of piano, guitar, euphonium and flute accompaniment instead.

And it was good.  Gifts were multiplied, more than we knew we had.  Perhaps there are even more, so many that we cannot even imagine.  On Christmas Eve, I glimpsed another kind of grace.

Friday morning my husband was scheduled to return to Minnesota.  But before he left, he made breakfast, while I took the dog out for a walk.  It was a cloudy, gloomy morning, and half-way around our walk, I tripped over a curb or a tree root or something and fell.  It hurt, and I felt stupid and awkward besides.  I limped home, feeling sort of defeated.

After breakfast, and after taking my husband to the airport, and after stopping in to the church to take care of a few things for Sunday, I took myself to urgent care to check on my ankle, which ached.  It was just a precaution, I told myself.  I was pretty sure it was just a sprain, but I wanted to make sure that I made the right treatments.  They insisted on taking X-rays, though, and told me that I did, indeed, have the tiniest little fracture:  a bone chip, they said.  I have a CD of the X-rays, if I want to see for myself.

When I explained to the doctor what happened, I again felt that sense of being stupid and awkward.  I tripped over a curb.  Or maybe it was a tree root.  It wasn't like I was doing extreme sports or anything very interesting.  I couldn't blame it on ice, or my dog.  I just tripped.  How could that happen?  I sighed.

The doctor smiled.  "Happens all the time," he said.

And I felt another kind of grace, the grace of being allowed to be human.  It is not the same as the grace  of discovering unknown gifts, and it is not the same as the grace of being forgiven (the one I know the most about).  

Sometimes I am guilty of making grace too narrow.  I think of the amazing grace that saved a wretch like me.  But grace is not just the word of forgiveness in my wretchedness.  Grace is in the myriad of gifts that surprise me when I think I do not have enough.  Grace is in beauty that surprises, stars more numerous that I can count, many voices coming together.  Grace is being surprised by abundance.  

And Grace is this as well:  being allowed to be human, make mistakes, fall down, limp along.  

It happens all the time. 


Muddled Muse said...

Diane, You don't know me - but I'll share my own clumsy story. Three weeks ago, my family of three (husband, me, and our two year old son) took advantage of a break in the 4-5 days of rain to go to a local park. (Did not care how muddy it was if we could get the little rumblebumkus out of the house!)

In the middle of our walk - a mile away from the car, I slipped on a wooden bridge - not once - but twice (yes...same bridge and within 5 minutes of each fall) and landed both times on my left knee...hard. I toughed it out for 2 days before falling AGAIN with my son (solo-parenting on my husband's late work night) and finally went to a clinic to get it checked out. No breaks or chips...but a really nasty contusion. One of my coworkers was like: "You're young, strong, and's not normal to fall this much!" And I'm like...well...
I'm glad you were given grace in your situation...and it DOES happen all the time - unfortunately! I hope you heal up soon - I KNOW how much pain I was in even without a break. *HUGS*

Diane M. Roth said...

thanks for the words of solidarity! I hope you are healing well.