Pure Grace

Some moments this week weren’t so shiny.

Some, in fact, felt pretty low.  There are those moments when you just wish with all of your heart that you could just somehow turn back the clock even for just a few moments and rewind one action and change the course of events.

Just one better placement of the foot.  Just one moment longer at a location.  Just one more chance to close your lips together and not let words slip out.   Just one more chance to pay heed to the red flag waving like crazy or just maybe fluttering a bit in the wind.

But, alas, here I sit, kicking and rekicking myself and trying so very hard to throw off the guilt and let myself be human and make some mistakes, no matter the size.

One such moment this week wasn’t mine at all, but that of my daughter’s.  She, being very pregnant, learned how no longer nimble she is as she allowed her face to catch her entire body weight as it slammed to the pavement.  Turns out, running isn’t for those who are eight months pregnant.  With blood pouring from her face, her husband got her upstairs to their apartment and tried to calm her.   Baby had hiccups within minutes and lots of movement and is perfectly fine.

A phone call to Momma was made.  Daddy got us there in 25 minutes instead of the usual 40.  These are the ways we can help.  We can gather clothes and bags and escort them to our house and make food and buy groceries and do some laundry.   It feels so good to fix what can be fixed.

Two days later, when a kitty bounded through tall grass and under my moving car before i could stop or even swerve, I was helpless.  And heartbroken.  My animal-loving heart had done harm.  There was simply nothing I could do.  My husband was there and reassured me that no one could have changed this kitty’s fate.  It broke off a little tiny corner of my heart, though.  It would take hours for my tears to dry.

And then, trying to provide new episodes of our favorite new show for my daughter and me, I managed to kill the hard drive on my computer.  Yeah.  Not my brightest moment.  Should’ve paid attention to the red flag waving like it was in a windstorm telling me this site was a bad idea.  The foreign lettering on the file I inadvertently downloaded sealed the deal.  My precious husband did his best to (for the second time this week) tell me that it wasn’t my fault.  That the computer was on its last leg anyway.  And then he bought me a new computer complete with piles of grace as my favorite bonus feature.

All the things I try to do so right.  And then all the things I end up doing so wrong.

It reminds me of these words, “I realize that I don’t have what it takes.  I can will it, but I can’t do it.  I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it;  I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway.  My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions.  Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.”*

They are ancient words, but it reminds me so much of me.

And of my frustration with my humanity and with my inability to, well, to be perfect.  Granted, perfection is aiming high, but don’t you just hate the part where you eat crow, or feel so darn bad, or need help, or can’t take it back?

But, I also know that it’s in my humanity that I find my need for more.  It’s at my low place that I reach for a hand up.  It’s when I’m weakest, I am conversing the most with the One Who is my strength.

I know, it sounds cliché.  Even to my own ears those words sound trite.  But, I know the voices in my head.  Not the crazy kind, but the real ones that fight for position daily.

There is the one that tells me about my failures and my inadequacy and rubs my nose in my stupidity.

And then there’s the voice that reassures me that I am worthwhile, and that I have value, and that I am so very loved.  Even when I am in the process of beating myself up.  I can’t even imagine being left to myself in those times, in weeks like this one.

When I take a good long look in the mirror and am faced with my own obvious inadequacies, I wonder what folks without faith in something bigger than themselves do when they need to rely on something stronger, something better…

And I am grateful to be human enough to know my need for grace.

Pictured rocks

“I look up to the mountains;  does my strength come from the mountains?  No, my strength comes from God, Who made heaven, and earth, and mountains.”

Psalm 121:1

*Romans 7:18, 19

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