A few weeks ago I was attending a service at my church when a women came up to me and asked if I could lend a hand to an elderly lady sitting toward the back of the church. I turned to where she was pointing and saw the lady, a visitor, sitting quietly as she observed everyone filing out of the sanctuary.
“Hi, I’m Alicia. Do you need some help?” I asked.
The woman looked at me and smiled. She told her name and asked that I give her a second to get herself together. You see, her balance was a little off and she needed help walking down the hallway to where refreshments were being served. So I waited while she gathered her things and prepared herself. We chitchatted for a second and just when she was ready to get up and we were going to start our journey down the hall she said something that caught me completely off guard. She said, “I noticed you as you moved about. You seem friendly and you have something that I don’t see very often.”
I smiled and thought with a smile, what? Too much grey hair for someone so young???
She turned to me and said, “You have grace.”
Grace. No one had ever said that to me before and I have to say, I kind of liked it.
The dictionary defines grace as the disposition to or an act or instance of kindness, courtesy, or clemency. Hmm…that could be me on some days (emphasis on some), but I really do try!
However, in the area of grace I have to give credit where credit is due. I come from a long line of women who had class, quiet sophistication, and yes, more than a modicum of grace. I grew up watching my grandmother take command of a room just by entering it and she could diffuse a situation with a simple look. She could be kind without being a pushover, forgiving without being judgmental, and she was courteous without being phony.
The world could use a little more grace. I wish people would put a little more thought into their words and actions. I know it’s popular now to “tell it like it is” and keep it 100, but sometimes it’s a lot classier to say nothing or extend a little clemency.
Christians often speak of God’s grace, which is unearned and undeserved. Maybe the world would be a little nicer if we all exhibited a lot less judgement, cruelty, narcissism, and hatred and a little more grace.