I knew I wanted to include a lesson on grace in Mandala Discovery, but whenever I tried to write that lesson, I ran into a problem. I don’t know how to define grace.

I’ve had lots of experiences with it, and in my heart I know what it was, but that heart-knowing doesn’t translate into language. So I went to the dictionary.

  1. elegance or beauty of form, manner, motion, or action
  2. a pleasing or attractive quality or endowment
  3. favor or goodwill

Hmmm… Close, but not good enough. I went to another source.

  1. mercy; clemency; pardon
  2. the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the bestowal of blessings.

Much closer, but still missing something intangible. I finally wrote this:

I think the clue is in the word “unmerited”. We never deserve grace, it just shows up – a gift from the outstretched hand of God.

Grace is one of those words where nothing but the experience of it can fully inhabit its complex meaning.

Grace is the woodpecker that arrives at the bird feeder moments after your mom dies reminding you that the world is still beautiful in the midst of pain.
Grace is the soup your friend brings to your sickbed.
Grace is your daughter offering to do the dishes even though it’s not her turn.
Grace is the father who lets his son move back home after he’s messed up his life.
Grace is that quiet moment in the woods when a deer stops to look deeply into your eyes.
Grace is the realization that you are beautiful despite your wounds.
Grace is the friend who sits down on the floor with you when you’re too weary to stand up.

To that list, I want to add one thing… Grace is a circle of friends and blog readers who rally around you and generously provide you with over $2000 so that you can travel and grow your work.

Grace is all around us. It is offered to us as unexpected blessings, tiny miracles, moments of mercy, and undeserved kindness.

What moments of grace have you experienced today?
For more thoughts like this, and to see what the grace mandala looks like, join Mandala Discovery: 30 Days of Mandala Journaling. 

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