He crouched at his locker, trying to hide the tears rolling down his face. I happened to glance at exactly the right moment to catch his eye. After a moment of sisterly coaxing, I discovered that my year 9 brother had been 'pushed around, taunted and roughed up' by some not so fabulous year 11 guys. It was like a fire had been lit within me. Anger rose faster and more fierce than a red flagged bull, I charged down the corridor, pointed a finger at one of the boys involved and spoke with chilling calmness but scary fierceness "How dare you treat my brother like that!" Then with every ounce of strength I had, I slapped his face as hard as I could....
I can get all 'Lioness' fierce up in anyone's face, who dares to think that being unkind or unfair toward anyone I love might be ok. I am so ready to shut them down, cut them off or expose them for what they've done. That protective instinct is incredibly strong.
I am sometimes really really kind to people (insert a touch of sarcasm) .... I don't punch them in the nose when the desire so very strongly hits, I don't let the words that are in my head gush out and whip them into shape, I don't write very strongly worded letters/emails to those that (in my mind) might deserve them.....
So if, Grace = undeserved favour/kindness
What does that even look like as a way of life?
It is easy to appear to live with kindness to others, more often than not, it is truly heart felt and genuine but sometimes it is a plastered on 'socially appropriate' mask.
But, what gets me unstuck, is that I am pretty sure that living in a "Rhythm of Grace"means undeserved favour or kindness, not just externally, but also in my heart and mind.
If you only knew the crazy not nice things that sometimes swim around in my head, you would most definitely unfriend, avoid or maybe move far far away from me.
So how do I find a way to live in a flow of grace both internally and externally?
Living in a rhythm of grace, I think, means not parking on the very first thought or response that pops into my head - but rather first seeking to look at the other possible situations, reasons or feelings that may very well be more likely.
Guess who I offer the least grace to in my life? ME.
I am the most unkind and ungracious towards myself.
If words were weapons, I would sometimes look like a bloody broken mess.
To live in this space, you and I need to learn to be gracious, forgiving, gentle and kind to ourselves and to all those around us.
Those we wander past as well as those we do the daily joys and dirt of life with.
To I begin to learn to live in a rhythm of grace that saturates both my internal and external world and that I start to learn to speak to myself the way I speak to others.
That my friend, is living a rhythm of grace, this is my hearts desire for this year.
May we all learn to find a space of grace for ourselves and those around us this year.
With love & joy