Extending Grace – Looking for my 5

OUR SMALL GROUP is working through Max Lucado’s “Out Live Your Life.” This week’s homework is to think of 5 people to whom we need to extend grace. We won’t be called upon to share details or names with the group.

Count me in.

#1 and #2 pop right to mind. The usual suspects. We all have them. But heading home Thursday evening, I wonder who the other 3 will turn out to be. I know I won’t have to think too hard. They’ll be brought to my attention in due time.

#3 Next morning, a new friend I’m liking more and more all the time keeps flitting through my thoughts. To my surprise, I find I am beginning to harbor an ill feeling. Lately I am taking note of every time the person does a certain thing. Now if it was some other person doing the very same thing and giving the same reason for it, I would not only let it go, but I would also feel compassion and sympathy. So why am I holding the hoops higher for my friend? Hmmm.

#4 comes while running errands and finding, as I go, the loop in my head keeps replaying a scene from several weeks ago when I bumped into an acquaintance. Something in the encounter seemed “off.” Since then, my imagination has been filling in the blanks. Another “Ah!” and I know it’s time to stop assuming I know the cause and resenting the person for what I perceive to be the issue. In other words, I need to extend grace. Also, if the opportunity arises and it seems appropriate, to ask.

#5 still hangs out there as the new week begins. But then, an unexpected call comes, and just as I pick up, I can feel an inner “Ugh.” Before a word is spoken or heard, before my hello or the hello that comes back at me, I’m already ugh-ing this exchange. I’m expecting a complaint. No complaint comes. Just wait, I think. Just wait until the next call. Uh-huh. I’ve got my #5.

Thanks to Belinda. Her post about what her group is studying reminded me of all this.

About Marilyn

Reading, thinking, listening, writing and talking about faith, creativity, ESL for refugees, grief and finding the story in a story. Student of Spanish. Foe of procrastination. Cheez-it fan. People person with hermit tendencies or vice-versa. Thank you so much for reading.
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4 Responses to Extending Grace – Looking for my 5

  1. Fern Boldt says:

    I downloaded the book to my Kindle for Mac. I need to learn the things you’re learning, Marilyn.


  2. Oooh. Now this is an exercise I would be loathe to perform (could this mean that I, perhaps, should?) We started a small group at our house just this summer. Our church doesn’t do this, but I sensed God calling us to more authentic community. It was one of the best things we’ve ever done, scary as it was. We are working our way through Francis Chan’s crazy love. Do you like this book by Max? Looking for the next read.

    We are back into holiday season, Marilyn. It may be next year before we are able to get together! This makes me sad, but I know how crazy life gets this time of year. Sending my hugs through this screen and over the miles. Love to you.


  3. Belinda says:

    Marilyn you are doing so well with your “assignment.” I still don’t have a conversation partner for mine, but I am having many opportunities to extend grace, and also to beg for it. Perhaps I could come and join your group–I’m having more success there. 🙂


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