Scallywag

Joy is not in things; it is in us.

~ Richard Wagner ~

Amazing Grace And The Lack Of It

February 17th, 2013 ~ Est. reading time: 2 mins, 27 secs

In even the smallest of deeds, grace goes a long way.

If there’s Godly grace then there’s surely personal grace. But just because it’s there doesn’t mean you’ll always experience it.

Ruth and I went to the movies last night to see “The Impossible”, about a family surviving the Boxing Day Tsunami of 2004. And, in case you haven’t seen it, perhaps you ought to go.

Although the film is centered on a real life disaster that we all remember only too well, it’s also about grace and, sometimes, the lack of it.

The film follows the true story of a British family holidaying in Thailand, who, after surviving the tsunamis’ onslaught lose each other in the chaos of widespread catastrophe.  Amidst the mangled mess of wreckage and death, the film reveals how fortitude and grace bring them together.

Amongst the horror of that unimaginable tragedy people did what they could, often with extraordinary grace and charity. Yet, sometimes, there were individuals who displayed shabby acts of selfishness (which also reflects what happens in our own life).

Paradoxically, a woman in the cinema refused to move her seat to allow a couple to sit and view the movie together. Her lack of grace, though small, was incredible, given what we had all come to watch.

But that’s life isn’t it? Somebody gets up, offering their seat on a bus, while another bunkers down and doesn’t. One motorist waits patiently to allow another driver through, just as the next blasts his horn while mouthing off obscenities. Grace, or the lack of it, is a daily event.

We cannot control every variable. Life plays out with elements we simply have no way of knowing of until they’re upon us. But we can live well with dignity and grace.

Regardless what we own or don’t, or how old we are or aren’t, grace applied gives our life kindliness and polish. You can be as ugly as homemade lye soap, but if you show beauty in your actions, you’re living a beautiful life.

You may not know what good you can do (you might even be feeling lower than a snake’s belly). But when you choose to commit deliberate acts of grace, each tiny deed ripples out. Most likely, you will never see where they go. Inevitably, some will bounce off the hardhearted or get mistaken for other intentions. But, when something you do touches somebody hurting or attuned, suddenly your actions will be amplified.

You may have had that experience when people remind you of something you said years ago and how it has had a profound effect. It reminds us that what we say and do always matters. Every act of grace (or its lack) resonates.

You might think, “What’s the point of kindness if people don’t appreciate it?” But someone always does. Your grace in situations is never wasted because, regardless what others receive, it touches you too.

When we give out compassion, our actions also tell ourselves. You can do a lot of self-healing with grace.

In the middle of an apocalyptic scene of death and destruction, the tsunami left people with nothing. Loved ones were lost, possessions obliterated, and life for survivors was tenuous at best. Yet, people accomplished the impossible in this extreme event because they applied their best with supreme endurance and determination. And the best of them, those who were driven by compassion and love, did it with grace.

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