You can read here about "Grace".
Her beautiful face will steal your heart. Her story will compel you to action............It did me. It also made me think.
The internet- is the only place I've met THIS little Grace.....though she has touched my heart.
But- I distinctly remember the first time I met GRACE.
I was in nineth grade. EVERYONE was getting ready for the "BIG EVENT" The Nineth Grade Dinner Dance. It was the first "formal" any of us had the opportunity to attend.... A HUGE deal......
One that I BLEW big time.
Nineth grade- was still "Jr High", and well--- let's just say I was a pain in the butt. Probably partially because of my "stage of development" (read: pubescent) and probably partly because of my personality (read: stubborn and MOUTHY)
But- After all the searching for a perfect dress, (oh man- me and the JC Penney Catalog were VERY close for a number of weeks) all the planning for perfect hair options.... the planning of accessories- and choosing of shoes.....
I got grounded.
I deserved it.
I was warned.
You can only imagine the river of tears that I cried--- the bargaining that I did.. the tantrumming- the pouting, the begging the pleading. "My dress is already Ordered!" "I made a Promise TO MY FRIENDS!" and yes--- the all time favorite of teens---- "EVERYONE else is GOING!!!!!!!!"
None of them worked.
On the morning of the dance--- I cleaned my room... (I figured THAT might work...)
Around 11:00 a.m my mom said- to "get out side and get some sun!" . I thought maybe I had gone too far- and made her lose her mind....BTW this was before we knew how bad the sun could be....
(I didn't exactly feel like THAT) But, there was no point asking for more trouble.
I put on my Swim suit--- and sat in the sun-- with all the teen accoutrements- of tanning--- baby oil, walkman (yeah- Cassettes-- oh probably Springsteen, John Cougar, U2 and some Culture CLub/Wham stuff....----I'm old- get over it)
Shortly after, my mom left in her car--- Her (way cool to me at the time--- light blue metallic- Datsun..blah, blah insert letters and some numbers here-------)
A while later---she returned.
Her face was still cranky.
She got out of the car... and leaned intot he back seat- she pulled out a LONG plastic garment bag. JC PENNEY in Pink lettering...
"Tracey Lynne- Come in the house" ( "Crap- could I be in MORE trouble????" I remember thinking)
That was all my mom said.
Duh. I went- no argument.
We sat down on my bed----with tear in her eyes- my Mom said- to start getting ready for the dance. Even though I had totally deserved not to go--- she didn't want me to miss out on the dance. It was special.
After several frantic phone calls--- and a few more hours of primp and fuss.....
My dad came home with a corsage in pink roses....
Then, I went to the dance.
My parents weren't perfect. BUt this was an important day for me.
Not, because of the pink and white gunne-sax knock-off gown from Penney's... or because of the perfectly flipped hair.....(complete with "Sun-In" highlights.....)
But- because it was the first time I met GRACE.
Years later- I heard someone describe Justice, Mercy and Grace this way:
Justice is getting what you deserve- I was a jerk- I was warned- I deserved not to go.
Mercy is NOT getting the punishment that you deserve. I could have been allowed to go--- in something from my closet-- or in something borrowed- or found last minute....
GRACE- Is when we get the opposite- of what we deserve. I got the gown- the flowers- the tan---the asseccories-- everything a girl dreams of for her first dance......
My Mom paid the price for the grace I experienced that May.
It really was the FIRST time I remember experiencing Grace.
It wasn't the last.
A few years later--- I learned about the meaning of Chirstmas- and then Easter. I learned about GRACE that comes from God- something clicked. I "Got"that- well- I sin. I deserve the punishment for that- (basically,Hell) Oh Crap- now i'm in serious trouble.
I also learned that Jesus had already "bought my dress" that he loved me, regardless- and wanted me at HIS dance. He paid the highest price---- death- for my attendance.
I sure wasn't gonna turn down that invitation- or argue about that one either.
Just hoping this Easter- that you have an experience with Grace--- of both kinds----- I challenge you to knit a square for the beautiful little Grace.......to help knit a blanket to warm and comfort her thru her treatments....
And I'll be praying that you remember your first experience with GRACE ---- and have another one---- with Jesus.
Hey- you could even post about it-on your BLOG!
or comment--- What a thought!
Feel free to trackback- and steal the title---- that would be awesome!
Dear Jesus- I can't even thank you for your Grace enough---- I also lift up this beautiful little one to you- I ask you to be with her- and her family- to loving warm them- and hold them, I ask you to heal her Lord- and to give her doctors wisdom and guidance. I also thank you for the ways that I've experienced "GRACE" in my life- and pray thst others would be reminded of theirs - too- I love you Lord- amen.