“It is at the bottom where we find grace; for like water, grace seeks the lowest place & there it pools up.” – Richard Rohr
I woke up last Sunday on the wrong side of the bed. Chris and I had a seminar to attend but I just wasn’t feeling it. I was tired, groggy, and flat out grumpy. I foolishly took it out on my spouse then later on the strangers that surrounded us. I was unwilling to open up and introduce myself to others. I was cold, reserved, and quiet for a few hours before my body started to feel…off. My stomach growled then spasmed over and over. I knew it then that I was coming THIS close with a bout of food poisoning and was completely unprepared. I know you can never plan for sickness but one should be able to skedaddle back to bed if they feel crummy, right? Instead I tried to tough it out while excusing myself every hour and eventually giving in to the crumminess and falling asleep in the car so that Chris could finish the seminar.
But the worst was still brewing and my goodness did it feel like a punch to the gut around 10 PM that night. I couldn’t keep anything down and could only sleep for about an hour at a time without waking up in pain and sweat. Chris was there to provide Sprite and crackers, offer more water when I got thirsty, and hold my sides while I heaved into the toilet for the umpteenth time that day. Gross, I know, but these are the perks of living with a loved one! My spouse saw me at my absolute worst for the second time that day but he was able to excuse my poor attitude and extend grace to me when I felt (and looked) so low.
I’m aware that him taking care of me isn’t anything new on this earth. That’s what you do for the ones you love. It’s his display of grace for someone who technically didn’t deserve it that led me to think of all of the ways I let God down on the regular. I’m disobedient, reckless, stubborn, and flat out unworthy of His goodness but he extends grace to me each and every day even though I don’t qualify for it.
To be honest, I’ve silently struggled with extending grace to those around me for the greater part of the year. I expect it but I don’t always dish it out to others – imagine that? I set high expectations for those around me and I base how I treat others on how they treat me. It’s not always second nature for me to put myself in the shoes of others before I subject them to criticism. I’ve found strength in admitting my shortcomings and I have to consciously and actively work on improving in this area despite how awkward it feels at times. I’m learning that I can’t expect perfection from anyone when I am far from perfection.
I’m feeling much better this week but the lesson hasn’t been lost on me. I am reminded each day that I am loved and cared for by my spouse, family, friends AND creator even when I’m brat. How are you showing grace to those around you? Are you sometimes like me and show it when you think it’s deserved? What are ways you can share the gift of grace with others you come in contact with (especially during this time of political tension and unrest)? I’m all ears!