Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Waking to Grace

© Copyright Terry Johnston licensed for reuse under Creative Commons (CC by 2.0)

My sister and I made a new friend at Panera Bread yesterday.  After a chance encounter with a favorite high-school teacher, we were deep in conversation, catching up over what Panera does best:  Frontega Chicken Panini with Tomato Soup and my Roasted Turkey Harvest Wheat-Berry Salad, coffee and a strawberry scone (a mouthful to order, but so worth it.) 

Awkwardly, and without words, a silly girl wooed our attention. We didn't see at first
the brilliance of her light.

Pretending she was a zombie from The Walking Dead,
Madison "M-a-d-d-i-e" Grace stumbled by our table three times in hand-me-down clothes--as we found out later from her mother--before I said hello.

Our invitation was the very thing she hoped for. Flipping long blond hair out of big blue eyes she came alive. And without warning, jumped right into the fold of our hearts. We had the feeling she was a gift from the very beginning, in the way she spelled her name several times over so we would remember.  I Googled it just a while ago. Madison is from Matthew, and means, Gift of God.

And Grace, well, GRACE is a gift too...of favor and goodwill...

beauty and blessing ALL freely given.

GRACE is God permanently weaving Himself into the hearts of all His children, through the hearts of mankind, making LOVE known.

Our meeting with Grace wasn't a little thing.  She was bright and bold, and quite the drama queen.  Yet, she wasn't sure of her last name.  Was it her mom's or dad's or grandfather's?  One was from Russia, and another from Italy; and she was from ALL the other places, too.

We heard the message loud and clear--it resonated like a heartbeat, the joyful coming alive of our inner knowing--
from a little girl who worked so hard to be so known.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound.  The song of this GRACE-child was especially sweet in the ears of We-Like-Sheep who, at some point, had lost our way and wandered as if all alone. 

Like M-a-d-d-i-e did with us, GRACE leaves the flock grazing in greenest pasture, on grass and forbs and clover--she left her mother and grandmother drinking coffee in a booth at Panera--to go and find The One. 

And we, like little lambs slung up around the shoulders, can rest and trust the heart of a Father who cares only for his sheep.  As his most loved little children, He will lead us home.

We can choose to fill our bellies full of GRACE today. 
We can become as little children and know as we are known--face to face, with nothing in between.

We can look within and see our WAY--the narrow path that leads straight beyond the Valley of Shadows.  And we will fear no evil.  For Perfect Love runs ahead to meet us where GRACE--a gift--always leads us.

beauty and blessing chase and feed us.

And where
child-like, we let go and learn to be ourselves again, wholly loved and wholly accepted, no strings attached.

GRACE is always free for the asking. She does what she has to to grab our attention, and then joyfully anticipates a welcoming "Hello."

Much thanks to Laura.  You can find this and other free printables at:  the albrechts blog.

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