Most of my life, I've lived in defiance of grace. Unwilling to let myself be given a gift of any kind, believing that working for what I earned was better. It's pride, and stubborness at the core, and I didn't want a handout from anyone, much less God.
So with every good grace, every praise from a teacher, I puffed myself up. I was something. I was achieving, climbing, making something of myself.
My heart in this was hard. I measured people by what they did. The success of their career, their house, kids, anything. I looked at life by the measures we can see and those material things that are of little worth, and I judged. Left and right, anyone I could see, I whispered harsh criticism. It's ugly and it's shameful, but worst of all, it's true.
Grace to me is so foreign. It's so humbling, and so unnatural. I want to do it all. And yet, I must submit that I can't do anything, but I can only receive what is given to me by another.
Oh yes, I have good moments. When the house is clean, and I've had two cups of coffee, and it's not a work day. When the whole world aligns and all is perfect, then, and only then, am I good at grace. But in the real days? The ones where I snap at my husband and I rush and I stress. Those days I leave grace on the bedside table when I wake up.
But that's grace. It's for us too. The ones of us who know our hearts are mean and judegmental and hard. It's for us most of all.