By Frederick Buechner:
After centuries of handling and mishandling, most religious words have
become so shopworn nobody's much interested anymore. Not so with grace,
for some reason. Mysteriously, even derivatives like gracious and
graceful still have some of the bloom left.
Grace is something you can never get but can only be given. There's no way to earn it or deserve it or bring it about any more than you can deserve the taste of raspberries and cream or earn good looks or bring about your own birth.
A good sleep is grace and so are good dreams. Most tears are grace. The
smell of rain is grace. Somebody loving you is grace. Loving somebody
is grace. Have you ever tried to love somebody?
eccentricity of the Christian faith is the assertion that people are
saved by grace. There's nothing YOU have to do. There's nothing you HAVE
to do. There's nothing you have to DO.
The grace of God means
something like: "Here is your life. You might never have been, but you
are, because the party wouldn't have been complete without you. Here is
the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid. I
am with you. Nothing can ever separate us. It's for you I created the
universe. I love you."
There's only one catch. Like any other gift, the gift of grace can be yours only if you'll reach out and take it.
Maybe being able to reach out and take it is a gift too.