Worst Grace- loving in the fray

photo courtesy of lucy.jane on flickr.com

Over our anniversary dinner on Saturday night Kel and I chatted about “us” and the quality of the food we were being served.   This is our usual anniversary conversation.

As the evening unfolded we realized that if we could sum up year six in one word, it would be “grace.”

We have made great strides in giving each other grace when our life hits unexpected bumps and detours, grace on our worst days, I suppose we could call this “worst grace.”

Our marriage has weathered a lot of storms which seemed to come one after the other.  We hadn’t learned to become each other’s safe haven before the storms came.  We will both admit that for too long we turned against each other the hard times, instead of drawing close in love.

I’m not going to get into specific details because neither of us want to rehash the painful past.  I’m sure that you can conjure up similar experiences in your own relationships, marriage and otherwise.

When the going gets tough, even the tough take it out on the people they love.  Worst Grace isn’t something that we’re born with, it’s caught over time, by seeing it modeled around us, by God and those who he dwells in.

We’re using a concept we both learned from reading Shauna Niequist’s book Bittersweet.  We’ve decided that the world will teach us enough lessons the hard way, and always be ready with an off handed comment or constructive criticism.

We’re turning our home into a safe place to come home to.  We realized that God can change and grow us as individuals without our constantly pointing out the areas where there’s room for improvement.

If I’m worried Kel needs to shift or grow, I pray about it for a long while before I say anything.  Most of the time I never need to, my job is to listen and ask questions in love.

My friend Jenni Morgan said it best when she said something to the effect of:  “One night God gave me a vision, I was running after my husband with a lighter trying to start a fire under him.  God told me if I would only get out of the way he could light a fire in him far bigger than anything I could do with my little flick lighter.”

So instead of turn against each other, may we hold each other close
Instead of pointing out “room for improvement”, may we pray,
May we be friends, lovers and safe places for each other to turn to when the world is cruel, which it certainly will be.

How about you?  Are you learning the art of “worst grace?”