When other people extend grace toward you, perhaps unexpectedly, can you accept it? Do you recognize grace for what it is and express gratitude for it? Do you answer the call to extend grace toward others?
At times in my life, I've been overwhelmed by the grace I've seen. There was the time when friends helped me build a ramp and renovated my kitchen. There's the low paid and difficult work my caregiver does for me. It can be humbling to receive rather than give, but what I began to appreciate is that grace is all around us all of the time and that none of us are merely givers or receivers, but capable of being both.
One of the things I've learned was how unaware I was of the grace in my life before my accident. Looking back, I realize that there had always been grace and I was the one who hadn't accepted it. I was under the illusion that I was independent and didn't need anyone. It wasn't until my own personal values changed, as well as my definition of what courage and maturity is, that I was able to embrace the reality of our interdependence on each other as human beings.
Now I realize that the choices I made surrounding grace had consequences because by not seeing the grace in my life, I remained cut off from the underlying truth that all of us play a role in extending God's grace. Sometimes we are recipients and sometimes we are the channels through which it flows. What matters is that we are open to experiencing grace.
Accepting grace, no matter where we are in the circle with our brothers and sisters, can become a way of life, where we are grateful for a beautiful day, the food we eat, and ways in which our interconnectedness enriches all of us spiritually. It is truly a gift from God to be able to set aside the fears and human pride that keeps us from being a part of a much bigger plan.