WE NEED A BIT OF GRACE by Rector Chris Girata
WE NEED A BIT OF GRACE was published in the Katy Trail Weekly, "The Good Word" Column, August 28, 2020
Chris Girata is the Rector of Saint Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church in Dallas, TX.
This year has not been easy (a grand understatement!). We have experienced truly global challenges that, perhaps for the first time in recent memory, have truly changed the way we live. For many of us, we are able to dictate the way we live with an incredible amount of agency. We choose where we live, what we eat, how we entertain ourselves and who we spend time with. We are near-masters of our universe. That is, until a pandemic force us to quarantine ourselves, our children and grandchildren cannot go to school, we have to worry about the availability of conveniences such as toilet paper, our social disorder is put on full display and all compounding to create a level of uncertainty that is practically paralyzing.
Each one of us, whether we are highly aware or not, is carrying a heavy weight.
Each one of us, whether we are highly aware or not, is carrying a heavy weight. As a person in the world, a person who is connected to other people, we cannot ignore that our grief is heavy. We each grieve in our own ways. We grieve the loss of freedom this virus has put upon us. We grieve the loss of security that our economic uncertainty brings. We grieve with those who feel rejected, judged, persecuted, and unloved because of the color of their skin. And in our grief, we can feel lost and exhausted, which is why we need reminders.
We need to be reminded of hope and love. We need to be reminded to seek after peace. We need to be reminded that we are not alone.
We need to be reminded that we are not alone.
As we knock on the door of a new school year, life is not as we wish it were. Parents are anxious about policies and procedures that are so very different than in years past. Students are disappointed at missing out on all kinds of activities. Teachers are worried for themselves, their colleagues, and their students. Decisions are being made by imperfect people trying to do their best, and no matter what decision is made, there will be people upset. We are in a seemingly untenable position and when that happens, we need a bit of grace.
Grace is defined as unmerited assistance, favor or goodwill. Put simply, grace is unearned kindness. We all need grace from others right now, and those around us, especially those in the most stressful situations, need grace from us.
Take just a moment to consider an experience or a relationship in your life that has you on edge. I can only imagine that the list of stressors is longer than usual. That long list can weigh us down if we lose sight of ourselves, so let’s not. Remember who you are and who you wish to be. Remember that this too shall pass and the future holds infinite hope. Remember that when the world seems dark, we can be the light. I hope we each receive the grace we don’t deserve, and when given the chance, give grace to others.
"The Good Word" Column is published bi-weekly, and can be picked up at the Saint Michael South Entrance.
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