When Grace Surprises

14/06/2019 15:43
I saw the postman arrive as I left home and I drove off without another thought. When I returned few hours later, mulch and sand tarnished our once clean driveway. I shook my head. The postman must have messed it up! He usually drives by our letter box, pops the mail in, then drives out again, the back wheel of his motorbike scattering dirt, leaving a muddy mess behind. I went to our mail box to collect what he had left for us, but to my surprise it was empty. That’s strange! I looked again. Nope. Nothing there—nothing at all!
The next morning, when I opened our front door, two pigeons strutted around purposefully in our yard. They dug the ground with their beaks, throwing mulch hither and thither. Ah! That explained it! I should have known better than to jump to premature conclusions! And truth be told, it wouldn’t be the first time I’d blamed an innocent party. For instance, there was a day I couldn’t find my pair of nail scissors. I was in a hurry to leave home for an appointment. I checked the drawer where I kept it but it wasn’t there. I shoved aside an umbrella, our sewing kit and a few other odds and ends but no, there was no sign of what I was looking for. Shan must have used it, I thought. I went to his bedside cupboard and checked his drawers one by one. Not there either. Grrr.
It was then I remembered. The day before, I’d taken my brush, perfume, scissors and lipstick to my son’s bathroom. I was going to church early that day. My hard-working husband  caught up on his sleep during the weekends and I knew I’d disturb him if I used the mirror of our ensuite. Now, I ran to my son’s bathroom, opened the draw under the mirror and voila! The little nail scissors sat patiently, waiting to be found. I hung my head in shame.
I’m sure there must be plenty of occasions over the years when I’ve blamed my husband or son for a misdemeanour when in reality the blame lay squarely on my shoulders. Thankfully, I have not received my just deserts. My sins and foibles have usually been met with forgiveness and grace - from God and from others. Even when I least deserved it. Especially when I least deserved it.


A few months ago, I did the unthinkable—I reversed into a pole at the shopping centre. In an horrifying instant, my car’s back windscreen was shattered; the parking lot strewn with hundreds of glass shards. I could not believe what I had done! I phoned my husband with trembling fingers, and he came at once; bless him. After some deliberation, we went home to get our broom, dustpan and brush and returned to the scene where my beloved helped me clear up the mess. I felt terrible—not just at the unexpected accident, but also that it had occurred during Shan’s long-deserved Easter break. It meant that instead of relaxing the next day as he’d hoped to do, he now had to fill insurance forms, make phone calls and take our car to the garage. I had spoilt his holiday! My beloved man was truly amazing—he assured me that it was OK and he comforted me.
I was so grateful that Shan lavished my undeserving heart with grace. His kindness in not making a big deal in what actually WAS a big deal blessed me immensely. Grace often walks in where it is needed, shedding light into our darkness. God Himself lavished us with grace through the death and resurrection of His only Son. If that wasn’t grace in all its fullness what is? God’s grace is the key that unlocks our fettered lives so we can walk out of our self-made prisons in freedom, gratitude and joy.
So … what does God expect of me as I deal with the sins, failures and mistakes of others? I can make a big deal out of my neighbour’s actions when he sins against me. Or … I can, as one sinner to another, shower him with grace. After all, God pours His grace over me every day. And grace begets grace. Every time.


Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has

 a grievance against someone. 

Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 


And over all these virtues put on love, which binds 

them all together in perfect unity. 

Colossians 3:13-14


To whom can I extend a garland of grace today?