Like any other gift, the gift of grace can be yours only if you’ll reach out and take it. Frederick Buechner.
The Gift of Grace – The Quotes Series – Part 1
Guys, I love a good quote. When I was a kid, I had quotes stuck all over my wall. Some were pretty, but most of them were just scribbled lines on note paper. But they meant the world to me and filled me up whenever I read them. I want to share a couple with you that have not only encouraged me but have challenged and changed me, too.
I’d love to hear what quotes are meaningful to you? What words are up on your walls? Which authors have written lines that have reached down into your soul? Not just the ones that make your heart warm, but the ones that make you think, maybe even cringe, and stay with you long after you’ve read them. Email them to firstname.lastname@example.org, or head to our website pktfuel.com and let me know!
“The grace of God means something like: Here is your life. You might never have been, but you are because the party wouldn’t have been complete without you. Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid. I am with you. Nothing can ever separate us. It’s for you I created the universe. I love you. There’s only one catch. Like any other gift, the gift of grace can be yours only if you’ll reach out and take it. Maybe being able to reach out and take it is a gift too.” Frederick Buechner (1).
This quote messes me up something fierce. It’s my all-time favorite, and it’s written on a chalkboard that hangs right by my front door.
Having struggled with identity for most of my life, I rarely felt like I could say “here I am” confidently (I wrote a series on this a couple of weeks ago). I tried to perform, and please, and work myself into belonging. But I’ve always belonged. It’s a grace, not something we have to earn. It took me years to see that. And this quote put language to it for me. “Here is your life. You might never have been, but you are because the party wouldn’t have been complete without you.”
The faith of my childhood was more than sheltered. I had vague ideas about poverty and war… But racism? Misogyny? Inequality? Domestic Violence? Sexual abuse? Refugees? Clueless. I thought the government was good and that church was where everyone needed to be. I remember in my late teens becoming aware of the world, feeling like I had been asleep for years. If God was so good, why was the world so bad? Was it all the devil? Should we pray more and have more services and sing more songs? Would that fix everything?
I began to see the complexities around good and evil, how it's rarely black and white. I realized that within myself I had the potential for both light and darkness. And if I had that potential, what about everyone else?
“Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid. I am with you. Nothing can ever separate us. It’s for you I created the universe. I love you.”
And finally, even though grace is a gift, I’ve learned to reach out and take it. Because if I don’t, it will always be out of reach.
Friend, stop waiting for others to validate you, tell you that you belong, include you, and deem you worthy. Take the gift yourself. Receive it. Own it. Live it.
“There’s only one catch. Like any other gift, the gift of grace can be yours only if you’ll reach out and take it. Maybe being able to reach out and take it is a gift too.”
(1). Frederick Buechner. Listening to Your Life: Daily Meditations with Frederick Buechner (p. 289). HarperCollins.
Written by Lizzy Milani
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