Air lingers heavy and cold.

Steam curls from speaking lips.

Branches stretch naked against deep night sky.

Small chests rise and fall under snowman flannels.

A small candle flickers in the quiet morning.

This Advent season, I am holding with me space for this grace that breathes.

Grace that pauses and sees, listens and waits.

This Grace that breathes Savior life into the body of a virgin, into the feed trough, into the midst of humanity dark broken.

This Christmas, I am continuing to learn the grace way.

Grace inhaled. Grace exhaled.

I struggle with holiday adrenaline surges, their elbows shoving quiet breathing grace out of the way. I feel the race, the panic, the breath-holding fear that I won’t be able to do it all, that I will disappoint.

But grace.

Grace slows the flame. Grace slows the lacing of cranberry garlands. Grace slows the wobbling of fur hats on little heads. Grace slows the telling of old stories.

Grace allows space to deliver soup to a friend who lost her father and struggles lonely. Grace allows space for other children on my lap. Grace allows space to hear and take in the loving words of a friend.

Grace gives space for pre- and post-dinner Christmas music dance recitals.

Grace gives gentle words when the kitchen faucet breaks off in husband’s hands after a long day.

Grace bestows. Grace receives.

Grace in. Grace out.

Grace breath.

Life breath. The beauty rhythm when I stop and notice the spaces.

Between branches where white light glows. Between to-be-dones and right-nows.

Grace breathed and always breathes Life into this hurting, waiting world.

Grace came. Grace comes. Grace is always the reason.

This is Week 5 in a series of Tuesday grace conversations. To catch up to this point, you can see Week 1 – Grace that begins it all, Week 2 – Grace that bends, grace that blesses, Week 3 – Grace that beckons and Week 4 – Grace that breaks, grace that births.

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