What in the world is grace?

Written by Morgann Monahan, WLLC 2015-2016

What in the world is grace? As I leafed through pages of definitions for this mysterious word, I realized that I really have no idea what this word means. It never dawned on me that grace was a religious term until last week in our Wellness class. Coming from the dance world, grace has always been ‘graceful’ or used to describe a woman with poise and upmost lady-like qualities. Truthfully I think of ‘She’s a Lady’ by Tom Jones…

I’ve always strived for grace, yet I don’t know what the word means, which is is silly if you ask me. How can I strive to be something if I don’t know what it is?

I quickly assimilated grace as a religious term having gone to catholic school as a child but I was still drawn to the titles like “Strength”, “Balance”, “Bliss”, “Flexibility”, “Effortlessness”, and “Harmony with the Whole”, the characteristics I find in dance. The “Grace is Strength” blurb even says “Like a ballerina, a person has grace if she possesses strength.” A very true statement coming from a dance perspective, but also a statement I find true as far as mental strength and fortitude. But there were so many options that held true for me, and I’m sure the rest of you as well. So here I am again, stuck contemplating the definition of grace. I read the article “What is so Amazing About Grace?”, (because seriously, what is so amazing about this fantastic word?) and found this quote:

“Trace the roots of grace or charis in Greek, and you will find a verb that means ‘I rejoice, I am glad.’” (Yancey 8)

And there it was, hiding between the small print and many paragraphs that tried to tie it down. I found that ‘grace’ is what you make it. It is not definable because it is ever changing and different for each of us. Grace is an essence.

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