“He’s headed your way. Just wanted to make sure you’re home. Ok, thanks!”
She placed the receiver back on the wall phone and returned to the kitchen door window where she swayed with her new baby and watched her almost nine-year-old march himself down the road. Once he turned into the neighbor’s driveway, she released the breath she had been holding. There was no doubt that Grace would work her magic and he would soon be returning home with cookie crumbs on his face.
Grace was a beautiful gift from God for my mom who had married a farmer – something she had vowed never to do before she met my father. She had grown up in town and had held no desire to live in the country with pigs, corn, beans, tractors, and dirt. Yet, here she was, married to a farmer and living with all those things and more.
The first time she met their neighbors, Grace and her husband, Noah (Yep! Noah found Grace in the eyes of the Lord! ~ Genesis 6:8), she felt at home. Their friendship deepened as Grace taught my mom how to make bread and other tasty dishes and helped her understand planting and harvesting seasons as well as a farmer’s mood during each. Grace knew how to deal with a fussy baby, the reason a cake didn’t turn out well, and a few thousand other pieces of wisdom.
On this particular day, my brother was traumatized by my birth. He really didn’t want another sibling and he certainly didn’t want another girl. He had been adamant about that. Yet, here he was, stuck with another sister. True to his word, the presence of that pink blanket sent him to his room where he threw his pajamas into a bag and stomped his way down the road.
It was hot outside, so when he got to Noah and Grace’s driveway, he automatically turned and walked towards the kitchen door where he saw Grace standing and waving. She always had cold lemonade.
No one is quite sure of what happened in Grace’s kitchen, other than some cookie consumption, but my brother soon made the trek back home, walked through the kitchen straight to the beautiful baby (me) and planted a kiss. (I think it was the only one I ever got from him.)
I often think about that story and all the Graces I have had in my life. You know, those people who listen, empathize, and then deliver loving words that lift you up and change your trajectory. Somehow, they shed their light on a problem and it shrinks in size while a more positive and important aspect shines. Sometimes, they just sit and listen, give a hug, pray with you, or offer you some chocolate.
Finding a Grace just simply happens. There is no application, resumé, or interview. We just stumble upon someone who is our support wall: non-judgmental, honest without being critical, selfless, and truly caring and we walk into their kitchen, have a cookie, and leave renewed. Then, we are empowered to become a Grace to someone else.
Noah is not the only person who found a Grace in the eyes of the Lord.
I thank my God for you every time I think of you. ~Philippians 1:3