He looked up in the discreet way people do, noticing those around him without making an effort to be noticed. Newspaper spread out on the table in front of him, I assume he was one of the many who gather at the public library for a variety of reasons unrelated to literacy: protection from weather, a comfortable place to sit, a place to be with people.
He looked up right as I looked at him and our eyes caught. I smiled. Always. Of course. And his face broke into a smile. "That smile!" he said in a voice way too loud for library propriety. "That smile. That is the prettiest thing I've seen all day!" And he went back to reading and I went back to herding children and the day traipsed by for both of us.
I don't write this to tell you I have a pretty smile.
I write this to say we are vessels of grace, you know.
I don't care who you are or how much you think you have to offer others or how much you think you lack. In the span of five seconds, you can make a deposit of grace into the life of another human being. A smile, a kind word, a timely hug, a short email, a silly text message.
You all filled up my heart to overflowing with the grace you extended to me after my last post. Some comments made me laugh and some made me cry and every single one of them - all of them - they were the Body of Christ made known to me.
A few weeks ago, one of my dearest friends on this planet sent me a short email with some thoughts specifically about the book. She's not normally the type to say "I feel God led me to say this," but she did, indeed, feel compelled to write. It wasn't any longer than ten sentences, I don't think, but her words were a specific and vivid and full answer to a question Laura and I had been discussing.
What if she hadn't written? Probably God would have filled someone else with the compulsion to say those things to us, but to come from the heart of a dear and trusted friend ... If grace is an ocean, we're all sinking ...
So, I know this gets tossed around all the time. I know it's not new or revolutionary. But I feel compelled to say it today. You are a vessel of grace. How will you pour into the life of another today?
An ice cream cone after a hard day at school?
A phone call to your mother?
A smile to a stranger?
Grace must find expression in life, otherwise it is not grace. -- Karl Barth
Linking with my beautiful friend Heather's challenge to Just Write. You can write without overthinking, I know you can. Join us.