Word Puzzle

A post from visiting writer Valorie Wells Fenton.

Whenever I “find time” to myself, it’s usually because I am waiting for someone else to arrive on their part of the path we share in this journey of life.

And while I wait, hopefully patiently, I have to sometimes ask God for the grace to use my assets wisely: time, talents and sometimes, even cash.

But then, I tend to jump ahead of God as I judge how well I’m doing in that arena. As if I have the wisdom, much less the power/authority to judge anyone!

 But ‘critical judgment’ seems to be my current nemesis to peace-filled living. 

So, I remind me what I already know, intellectually, that I can “rely on God’s grace,” “be filled with the grace of God,” and “allow grace to heal” me of these hasty habits.

But what the hell is “grace”?!?!

“Unmerited favor”, the scholars say. Well now, doesn’t that solve my self-deprecation issues?

I find, at this age on the shady side of fifty, that even as I hope for God’s grace, I have no idea how to recognize it. How is grace different from, say, a miracle?

I pray that my adult child will get the “right” job and when she misses the one she really wanted, only to be awarded a much better career on the next interview, I have to wonder, was that by the grace of God?

 And when I am driving on the interstate and I come up over a rise to the scene of a fatal car crash, was it the grace of God that had me forget my cell phone and in turning back, miss that horrific accident?

I think my difficulty with the definition of grace is with the word “unmerited” favor. As a recovering Roman Catholic, I am well-versed in how unworthy I am to be granted any favors. The litany of  ‘thou-shalt-nots’ is longer than my memory!

So, for now, I guess I will accept, that for me, “grace” is a semantic word jumble and thankfully, the answers to my prayers are not the prize for solving a religious word puzzle.

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