Light and Loveliness

Reflections of Emily Sue Allen

Grace / Life & Faith

Exploring Grace // 1

This summer turned out a bit different than I expected, but I am realizing that plans must change when life turns around a bend you weren’t expecting.

I found myself more alone and more quiet than I have ever been. Don’t worry. It has been good, even though there have been uncomfortable moments. I’ve lived a lot of years of chasing and racing and striving and wrestling out my stuff, so it is only natural that there would eventually be a swing to the other side of things where life just had to get simple and I would need to sit still and listen.

http://solacearts.com

Grace has been on my mind.

Defining grace in my own words, I would say that grace is undeserved kindness. I am smitten with the word “kindness” for a number of reasons. Kindness is a buzzword in this house, thanks to all the people here who are constantly learning to exercise more of it with each other. Not just the kids. Me too. I’m not content with us merely tolerating each other…I pray and long for our relationships with one another to be unmistakably marked by kindness, which is no easy task in close family relationships. We are familiar, which means we see the best and the worst of each other.

Kindness requires intention, carefully chosen words and actions, and self-control. Kindness is a gesture that involves an element of putting oneself in a humble place in order to serve another, even in a small way. I show kindness to my children when I remain calm when I really want to yell instead. I show kindness to my husband when I plan, and shop, and cook a meal that I know he will enjoy. I show kindness to a friend when I show up in a time of need, putting aside other things to listen and pray and hug.

None of these things come naturally, and none of them come easily at times either. I am learning them from Jesus, who seems intent on making sure I understand the real meaning of His grace in my life…an example to follow. He came to serve me and give His life up for me, that I might be reconciled to God, and He calls me to do as He does. I am to put myself in a humble place and learn how to extend the same servant-hearted kindness to those who cross my path…to represent Him not as a billboard, but as feet that will go, and hands that will do the kindness that is desperately needed all around this messy world.

Has there ever been a time someone showed you kindness in a way that has stayed with you even years later? If so, I’d love to hear about it.

“The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:28

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291. new seasons, 292. successful purge of stuff we don’t need, 293. delicious dinner & “slushes”, 294. room for more of the good stuff, 295. finding forgotten treasures, 296. tenderness, 297. polka-dot jammies, 298. fancy water cup, 299. letting go of burdens, 300. writing time

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