Grace is a funny word. Christianity views grace as an unbidden gift from God. For me grace is any time we are given insight, meaning and purpose to our lives. Grace lives in the everyday of our experiences. Grace happens when we least expect it.
Several days ago Francis and I were dealing with the town tax office. For some reason we were still being charged vehicle property tax on a car that had never even been garaged in that town. As was my wont with bureaucrats I came loaded for a confrontation. We had all our paperwork in order including a paid receipt from our current town showing we paid the tax. Francis, who is often kinder than me, began by asking the town employee’s name, and then introduced us. She then explained the situation. The tax lady was more than kind. She explained how the system worked and how we could fix it. She and Francis then got into a conversation about how difficult her job is and how most people come in filled with righteous anger instead of understanding how the tax system worked.
By the end of the encounter, we departed as civilians, in the best sense of the word, cognizant of each other’s humanity in the midst of forces often beyond our control. We had all experienced the grace of civility and kindness. May we look often for these moments and see them all around us.
With Grace and Grit, John