I know I don’t deserve this. I haven’t earned it, it isn’t fair. More, more, when I think I have taken all there is to give, more appears. Where is the end, when will it stop? This grace just keeps flowing like birdseed out of the feeder, rushing to the ground for those who prefer to snack there. I don’t understand it, am overwhelmed with it. I barely start to grasp the beauty of what has been given and then more, more still more.
It began with a whisper, maybe first the readiness to hear the whisper. A chance taken, following that nudge, next reaching out with the tiniest spark across the darkness, a connection established until a fire grew so bright we all can see. That was grace enough for me. I could have lived off of just that much, breathing in that grace, exhaling new faith, deep restoration. More, though, more still came. Why, why is there more? Nudges that push me into holy places, nudges that awaken me to gifts that heal, nudges that rein me in and nurture me, Spirit prods that love with grace and show me more IS. Not just what can be but what IS right now, inside of me.
I don’t deserve this friendship, this one who gives more than I can ever return. I don’t deserve her family, her parents who send me messages and emails and take photos to further my craft. It isn’t fair that her mother spends the afternoon sewing breast pads for Mama, a young woman she has never met, it just is grace. Who does that? This grace rich family, they have so much it overflows, they must be unable to contain it. Unaware of it, oblivious to the glory of their gifts, they humbly carry on sprinking grace like seeds from feed sacks, they either don’t know or don’t care a hole is leaving a trail wherever they have been, a trail that leads straight to God. Their bag never seems to empty. Like little birds, those of us in their wake are fed, we find unexpected nurturance when we are most hungry. Some seeds find the rich soil and grow into ministries. Remember the parable of the seeds? This family lives out the sprinkling.
I ate vegetable soup, homemade rich hot hearty soup as they sewed. Grace enough in that bowl, but there was more. We laughed and chatted, swapped light stories and deeper concerns. I wondered if they had any idea of how deeply they heal me? We may not get the mother we want, I may not be the one I long to be, but sitting with them I was included in a relationship that is so beautiful I ache from just being near. I watched as grace raised the needle up down up down again and again with the ease of years behind the machine. I watched as grace cut circles and considered thickness of pads, easy conversations between them as the daughter’s expertise joined with the mother’s. I sat at the table and ate the seeds of relationship and prayed that somewhere my Stella has a mother-friend to love on her this way. She deserves this much grace. She has earned that second chance of hot soup and nurtured gifts.
We don’t get what we deserve, praise God for that. We can’t earn our way into heaven. If we are truly blessed, we find grace here, now, in a friend who speaks the Holy Spirit and an extended family who cares little for a formal tree and more about feeding the birds who gather on its branches. I know I am more, I have worth, by virtue of the grace they have shown me. I cannot deny the magnitude of their gifts, shall I squander those or spread grace of my own? Because that is what happens, when you begin to feed the birds, first maybe a chore or just an afterthought, you soon notice the birds show up with songs and beauty and bring friends who enrich your environment. More seeds spread and sunflowers grow in unexpected places, delights for all. I will never be really good at grace spreading like this family but I have an example of Jesus with each interaction. A work in progress, they see that I am redeemable, I trust them that I am worthy, a little bird still learning to fly.
I don’t deserve them, it isn’t fair that I receive their grace. Thank you God for sharing them with me. I truly understand the gift.