Let Us Say, Grace

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In our family, when we have sliced the turkey, made the cranberry sauce, when the gravy is smooth and the brussels sprouts are steaming, we call everyone to the kitchen to stand in a circle. We call everyone to come and pause to thank the God of Heaven for the bounty, for the togetherness, for the breath in our lungs, for another year. We bow our heads and we lift up our hearts to Heaven. We say grace.

Today, as we bow our heads, may we also say, Grace.

Grace to you.
Grace to me.
Grace to this world we live in.

Grace to the differences and especially Grace to the misunderstandings between us.

Today, as we bow our heads, may we not only imagine our hearts lifted to Heaven, but our hearts extended to each other. A Grace that is stretched and moves in to fill the gaps between us.

Grace is unmerited favor. Something we don’t deserve. Something others don’t deserve. Those who have offended me certainly don’t deserve it and yet, today, may we say, Grace.

Grace to you.
Grace to me.
Grace to the differences in our world.

Today, I will say, Grace to the passive aggressive email. Grace to the daughters who are struggling to find each other. Grace to my shortcomings. Grace to my humanity.

I have been listening to Krista Tippett’s book Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and the Art of Living. A few days ago, I was driving and listening when she shared an interview with Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, who used to be Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Common Wealth. (Let’s say THAT slowly at the dinner table!)

She asked him this simple question: Where are you finding hope?

And he said this: “I think God is setting us a big challenge, a really big challenge. We are living so close to difference with such powers of destruction that he’s really giving us very little choice. To quote that great line from W. H. Auden, ‘We must love one another or die.’ That is, I think, where we are at the beginning of the 21st century. And since we really can love one another, I have a great deal of hope.”

Difference has become our invitation to a greater Love. Proximity is a gift to us. Proximity sharpens us, reveals our humanity and invites us to pull out the Grace cards.

Today, Love for the world starts with grace for the Other at my own table. I say, Grace for the person on the other end of an email. Grace to the person who made the comment on Facebook. Grace to the person behind the nasty tweet.

For me, it’s easy to love the world; it’s a lot harder to respond with dignity, honor and respect to the person at the table who doesn’t share the same opinions as I do.

My prayer today is for a fresh Grace. Not just a prayer, lifted up to Heaven, but a Grace extended across tables. Grace, from heart to heart.

When we say grace today, may we also remember Grace. May we extend Grace, welcome Grace, offer Grace, insist on Grace. May we extend Love and forgiveness and Lord help us—grace—to the crevices that exist between us at these tables? May we fill the cracks between us with words fortified with Grace.

We really can love one another. We truly can.

Let’s start by saying, Grace.

Grace to you.
Grace to me.
Grace to this beautiful and brutal world we live in.

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Idelette McVicker
I like soggy cereal and I would like to go to every spot on the map of the earth to meet our world’s women. I dream of a world where no women or girls are for sale. I dream of a world where women and men are partners in doing the work that brings down a new Heaven on earth. My word last year was “roar” and I learned it’s not about my voice rising as much as it is about our collective voices rising in unison to bring down walls of injustice. This year, my own word is “soar.” I have three children and this place–right here, called shelovesmagazine.com–is my fourth baby. I am African, although my skin colour doesn’t tell you that story. I am also a little bit Chinese, because my heart lives there amongst the tall skyscrapers of Taipei and the mountains of Chiufen. Give me sweet chai and I think I’m in heaven. I live in Vancouver, Canada and I pledged my heart to Scott 11 years ago. I believe in kindness and calling out the song in each other’s hearts. I also believe that Love covers–my gaps, my mistakes and the distances between us. I blog at idelette.com and tweet @idelette.
Idelette McVicker

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  • Melaney G Lyall

    Grace… yes. Grace has been resounding in my head and heart for a while now… yes!

  • Yes, “an invitation to a greater love.”
    Around our tables and around the world.
    Let it be so.
    Thanksgiving blessings to you, Idelette — and much grace.

  • Helene Burns

    ‘We really can love one another. We truly can.’ If we truly believe this, and I do – such magnificent miracles would take place and Grace would flood this beautiful and brutal world we all occupy.

    Thankful for you and thankful for His never ending supply of grace. xx