Grace has become a rippling, raging mystery to me in the past few days. But it has also become as sure and certain as the sunrise.
It is, if possible, more ethereal and unknown in its depth and more tangible and unshakeable in its truth. Because as surely as I know (I mean, really, really know) I don’t understand it, I know with the same certainty that I’m living it. Breathing it. Sustained by it.
On Thursday, I stood in a hospital room, helpless as my beloved faded away. Helpless as they hit him to bring him back, as his room filled with strangers and a bright red crash cart and I’m not kidding when I say: our life rolled in front of my eyes. Our dating and wedding and fights and vacations played a sweet, sad song in the background of all that hospital chaos. A steady rise and fall of terror and grace. Terror, met by grace. Terror, consumed by grace. It would be easier to tell you there was no fear; to assert that all was grace as I felt life slipping away. Maybe more mature believers than I could pull that off, but that was not me on that day. On that day, when death prowled and I was nearly breathless with a kind of fear I’ve never experienced before, grace showed up and wedged its foot in the door. And once grace gets in, fear is eventually, inevitably undone.
Home now, with Steve out of the woods, I have felt nearly overcome by the weight of this new life. So much to do, to watch, to learn as caregiver to a man fighting such a fierce physical battle, drawing strength for life through a tiny tube. I don’t generally question God’s ability, but I daily question mine. I’ve been honest in this space that I do not feel like I am enough for this battle. I am impatient and selfish and not very calm under pressure. But into all that truth, comes Truth, greater still – He is enough. And in my weakness, He is not just sustaining me, but building something in me. Something new. Something I will be proud to own down the road.
And grace is at work in my marriage. I don’t know how to wrap this in words, except to say there is something truly magical and undeniably romantic about spending a long night in a hard chair in a hospital room when you are sleeping next to the one you love. Turns out, the “in sickness” part of the vows, while not as easy, is no less beautiful than all the rest. Because of grace.
Do you feel long on fear and short on hope today? Are you exhausted from your own plan-making and plan-scrapping and giant-naming? I wish I had a formula to work or a pill to swallow or a magic meme, but I don’t. I only have the assurance of grace that wins, redeems and recreates our chaos into courage and our helpless cries into shouts of joy. And I think, this far into our battle, I can say with confidence: this is the very post I would be writing had the outcome swung another direction on Thursday. In the face of life or death, grace still wins. It has and it will. It always will.
So, while there’s no formula, there is this (and this is good):
… Who are you, O great Mountain? Before our God, you shall become a road on which to walk. And that road will be paved with shouts of ‘Grace, grace to it!'” Zechariah 4:12 (personal paraphrase)
Wishing you grace,