Every day has grace of its own.
My daughter, affectionately known as “The B,” turned to me and asked for my phone. We were settling into the car, headed to school. “I want to play some music this morning,” she said quietly as she tap-tap-tapped her way to Spotify. The rough morning journey to school came as expected, a pre-teen unhappy with the hour at which she had to rise. I hadn’t showered yet, which was fine, the dried salt of sweat still on my skin as I drove.
We turned east to see the horizon lit warmly, a cosmic fire in its hearth.
Such a strange thing, I thought, to be captivated by something that happens every day. Even though the cloudy Illinois winter hides the rising light on many days, this day was different. So much power in that color, that unique orange that can’t be painted or manufactured without a margin of unreality. The hard truth of “close enough,” you might say.
There is a power in the sunrise. The power of potential, that things have begun again as the morning breaks. I wonder, has God ever whispered the truth to the sun? Has He ever let this tumultuous orb in on the impact it has on those of us created in God’s image?
I was jolted from my solar-spiritual reflections when Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now” crashed through the speakers. The B is an old soul when it comes to music, and Queen is the flavor of the month at the moment. The pace and crescendo of the music seems to break her out of her early morning discontent.
When you’re not old enough to do coffee, I suppose Queen will have to do.
Music gives light and energy to our house every day. It is the backdrop for many of our favorite moments, it causes us to ponder and laugh and sing off-key. When she was an infant, we made a point to play classical music in my daughter’s room when she slept. Her neural pathways from an early age had a soundtrack.
She sings as the stoplights shifted; red to green, green to yellow, then red.
We eventually pulled up at the curb at school, just as the playlist flipped to “Bohemian Rhapsody.” She gathered her belongings, the monstrous backpack that looked ready to ascend Kilimanjaro and her coat, and I planted a kiss on the side of her head as she rocked left to right, then out into the cold. I could faintly hear her humming, “So you think you could stop me and spit in my eye?”I watched her walk into school, with two strong legs and a healthy beating heart. Turning into traffic, I realized there was a half-warm cup of coffee waiting for me at home. I knew I’d get a warm shower soon, a kiss from my wife, and then head off prepare to do work that gives me life.
We all have these little graces, don’t we?
The lights changed, red to green and green to yellow to red, under the now-high sun.
Grace is what energizes and fuels our spiritual formation. Peter envisioned it as growing in the “grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Pet. 3:18) We often see grace as something of a gift; the unmerited favor of God to save our filthy hides. I suppose that’s true.
But for Peter, grace is also a form of energy. Grace is a goodness that enlivens our capacity to confront anxiety, balance duties at home and at the office. It’s grace that fills us when we rise to the challenge of our addictions and temptations. What else but grace restrains us from losing our sanity in traffic, finally slapping that co-worker who has it coming, or unloading a Facebook assault that would make General Patton blush?
Grace is in each day, I believe. Every day is shot through with the divine, and grace hears its own echo and responds.
The sun rises and the color fills us with life.
Music lifts our spirits and we have it within us to face the day.
The health and love of family reminds us that gratitude is begging for a notice.
We have enough grace for every day, if we pause to see the smaller miracles of God’s being. Where are you sensing God’s little graces in this day? How can you pay attention to them, letting them fuel you for the seemingly impossible obstacles in front of you?