Elizabeth, our daughter-in-law, has a friend named Grace. They are extremely close — like sisters. For a season, when they were much younger, Grace lived with Elizabeth’s family, so they really are sisters in that they have lived under the same roof. You may know someone like this, but Grace is one of those extremely talented, resourceful people who seem to be able to do just about anything, and do it well. When Grace gives a gift, it’s usually something she’s made. Pretty much whatever needs to be done, Grace knows about it, and can do it.
Grace designed and created all of the wedding decorations for Christopher and Elizabeth’s wedding, from the invitations, to the bridesmaid’s dresses, to the flowers, to all aspects of the reception including the gifts to the wedding party, the music, and the order of events. So when it came to the baby shower, it was the same thing. The color scheme, the decorations, the gift list, the cake — everything had to go through Grace. It’s not that Grace has to do everything; it’s just that she is so competent that she might as well do everything.
But the thing that makes this most remarkable — the part that drives my wife up a wall, because Marti likes to run things as well, but she also feels the pressure of the responsibility, is that Grace somehow never seems rushed, never flustered, and is apparently never at a loss for a solution to a problem. She’s so easygoing that none of this responsibility seems to faze her. Later, you find out Grace did this, and Grace did that, and, oh yeah, Grace did that, too, and did I tell you she still manages to be a mother to two beautiful little girls. I mean, really, if you didn’t know her, and know that all of this is a level of giftedness that flows naturally (or supernaturally) out of her, you might want to move her to another continent, because she raises the bar on everyone else without really trying to. Being around her can make you feel jealous or intimidated, but none of that is her fault. That’s your fault for feeling like you have to compete with her when no one is asking you to — especially her. She’s not competing with anyone; she’s just being who she is.
It’s gotten to be such a deal around my house, that when we run into an issue or a problem we can’t solve, we jokingly say, “Ask Grace,” or “Grace will know what to do.” It’s not WWJD anymore; it’s WWGD: “What Would Grace Do?”
That’s how it was that I caught myself saying the other day — and I don’t even recall the situation anymore, but it doesn’t really matter — “What would we do without Grace?“ And no sooner had I said it than I realized God had set me up for this, because the real truth, outside of Elizabeth’s friend, is: What would we do without grace — God’s grace? We wouldn’t stand a chance. We would all be dead in our trespasses and sins. We would all be trying to make it on our own, or we would have given up long ago and resigned ourselves to hopelessness.
And yet, it’s our failure that leads us to this grace. It’s our sin, our inner conflict, our personal need that makes grace necessary. Grace is not for good people. Good people don’t need grace (and what a dangerous place that is to be — outside of God’s grace).
So you can thank Grace for our Catch this morning, though she didn’t have anything to do with the grace that sets us free. That’s the grace for 2016 — the grace we want to turn outward to others because we all need it so badly. What would we do without grace?