By Pastor Paula Burchill

Someone recently described to me a person who is an amazing receiver.  The woman has been going through an exceedingly difficult time and lots of people have reached out to offer help or words or cards or advice—a huge array of what they hope is helpful.

What this woman is able to do is to receive these gifts for what they are—blessings from people who are offering the best they can offer, even though it isn’t always what she needs or even wants.

She isn’t particularly religious, but she welcomes prayers and helpful bible verses.  She welcomes texts and emails, even those that have encouraged her to “look on the bright side” when most everything is very dark.  If you think enough to offer it to her, she receives it with thanks and the knowledge that it comes with the best of intentions.

I call that grace.

And it reminds me of how God must feel when we offer God our best, only a lot of the time, it is our fumbling, awkward, take me as I am warts and all kind of best.

I pray I could be more like that.

I think a lot of us welcome help and people reaching out to us in hard times.  But I don’t know about you, but I can be judgy about said help.  I got this, but what I really could have used was that.  It was nice of him to come, but he said exactly the wrong thing.  Thanks for the casserole, but I don’t really like corn.  It points out to me how I want control and I want things on my terms.  And I forget that we are all just doing the best that we can the best way we know how.

So when I meet someone who lives this way, it graces me beyond measure.  Knowing that what I give is received as coming from my heart and truly what I believed to be the best thing I could do makes me remember that we are all walking the same hard road on this earth.  And it is a road that is so much easier when we let each other in and give each other grace.

But what gives me hope and strength, is that even though I miss the mark often, God always hits the mark.  And God loves to receive what I have to offer, and God really loves to see us doing our best to share his grace with each other here on our road on this earth.

God, give us all this grace.  For ourselves and for our companions on the road.


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