Written by Brenna Flynn, WLLC 2015-2016
For this blog post, I decided to refresh my memory on grace. In class, we discussed what grace is and a lot of people had many different perspectives. I wrote down what my classmates thought and chose to incorporate their thoughts into my post. Some of my classmates spoke of it as “forgiveness”, some said grace is “love”, and others “were not exactly sure”. Their definitions alone made me wonder what grace actually is, what it means to me. I decided to read “What is so Amazing About Grace” by Philip D. Yancey, and he gave me an entirely new perspective on grace.
Yancey discusses grace through using different people’s stories. My favorite story is of a woman whose husband died in France. She came to the home of two women with no money, and they allowed her to pay them rent by doing chores and cooking. Later on in the tale, the woman from France wins the French lottery. Instead of spending it on herself, she uses the money she wins to make a huge feast to celebrate the sisters’ dead father’s birthday. When told people would be sad about her going back to France, she responds that she will not be returning because she spent every cent of her lottery winnings to make the feast. Here, Yancey defines grace as “a gift that costs everything for the giver and nothing for the receiver” (p. 25). Never before had I heard grace defined in this way. It really made me think that grace is a gift I can give to others, not just forgiveness or love, but instead, a total giving of part of myself to someone else, without the desire for compensation.
This reading really helped me ponder about what grace actually is through its stories. Towards the end of the text, Yancey defines what grace is not. I learned that grace is not following the strict of the strictest rules of organized religion, such as never allowing yourself any sort of pleasure. Trying to be graceful to others is not attacking them for their “sins.” Instead, grace is a gift, a gift of love and healing, that is given to us all, no matter our circumstances. In the words of Yancey, “grace comes free of charge to people who do not deserve it” (p. 42).
I was looking at some quotes we got from class last Thursday, and one says, “Only Jesus can give wholeness to a broken life.” This reminds me of what grace is because through Jesus, I am given the grace of forgiveness, I’m given the grace of being set free of my wrongdoings, I’m given the grace of those who will do anything in their lives to help me overcome any issue or tragedy I may be going through. This reading, and that quote, helped me realize that grace is all around me, sometimes I just need to look hard enough to find it.