Beautiful and terrible things will happen.

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

I used the first part of this quote back at the end of November, but I decided I wanted to go ahead and post the entire thing (luckily I reserved the right to revisit it). I have been thinking some more about the idea of writing a story with your life, and I am challenged by the idea of reaching out and taking the gift of grace. Maybe that’s not too surprising, since I tend to hold back. To keep from being rejected. To keep from being embarrassed. Because it hurts. Because I have all these holes in my life and there seems to be no way to fill them. Because I am afraid.

But part of the story I want to write with my life is about taking the offered gift: the hand of friendship, the time, the kind word, the beautiful day, the way words turn into sentences and sentences into stories. Of those, the only ones that I ever accept without reservation are the stories that I can take in without having to share myself with anyone else. We just celebrated Christmas, and I have been overwhelmed with what Jesus gave up to come and be with us, what he shared with us, and what he offers us. I don’t always know what to do with strong emotion, and what emotion could be stronger than the love of God that compels him to come to earth as a baby?

The confidence that enables people to accept gifts graciously always seems like a gift in itself, and one that I admire and envy. But looking at the quote makes me wonder . . . if those are the things that the grace of God is offering to me, what business do I have to be afraid?

Don’t forget, today is the last day to enter to win a mix CD!

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