Grace is at work.
Under soil cold and cracked.
While I am not paying attention, roots delve deep and deeper into ground that looks lifeless. Little camellia’s stalks grow stronger. Her leaves shine gloss and green. A symphony of everyday miracles dance in a company under dirt.
Then the camellia flowers burst like popping corn in these cold days of winter.
Grace rising toward the sky. In unlikely places, unlikely times.
I look in wonder at these white laced cups trimmed pink. They are so lovely.
Then the scene fades to the everyday, and I forget the flowers. Walk by them every day and don’t even look.
Life keeps happening.
In these days after Christmas, everyday life happens.
The thing of Christmas, the event of Christmas, the celebration of Christmas that we’ve worked towards has passed.
We continue to celebrate God with Us. Grace appearing unexpected in strokes of acrylic paint and nativity figures at a dinner table.
Yet I struggle with scraps of disappointment that this time is never all I desire it to be. I am disappointed with myself for ways I did not walk in Christmas peace and delight in present moments.
I wanted to walk empowered by pure grace and instead trudged across clean places with mud clinging to feet, too tired to wipe it off.
This last week, just like every other year leading up to Christmas, I snapped at kids, felt adrenaline surges in body aches. Finished shopping later than I wanted. Doubted gifts given. Thought I may be eaten alive by piles of paper.
I needed to know grace for myself. Sometimes I did. But too many moments, grace seemed to pass me straight by.
Several weeks ago a friend — a teacher of religion to college students — said descriptions of grace always leave him feeling inadequate. You cannot encapsulate the gift. It cannot be fully described. It cannot be wholly grasped.
We clutch, and it slips through fingers.
In our midst, all around us, grace falls and flows. All we can really do is cup hands to receive what has become, what is in this moment.
Grace continues to pass through fingers, as moments do. Then there’s another.
Grace, like seconds and days, continually new.
Grace blossoms into full glorious bloom, and sometimes we stand full glorious in it. Other times we try standing upright in grace, reach for grace drops and pain comes, and disappointment, and we feel the wither. We see grace falling clean past us, onto his head, onto hers.
Still, our roots, our branches reach for the sustaining. We hunger, and we thirst for the grace gift, though we may call it other names.
Thanks be to God that his grace leaves not a one forgotten. Not a one lifeless under ground.
Grace is always becoming, always doing its work until the day we stand in Grace light. The light of grace that never ends.
This is the seventh and final week 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, Week 4 – Grace that breaks, grace that births, Week 5 – Grace that breathes and Week 6 – Grace that builds.