Grace comes in many shapes and sizes. It carries many meanings, all of which resonate within us as the same. It can be defined as “elegance or beauty of form, manner, motion, or action”. It can mean “to favor or honor”, “moral strength” or “mercy”. Although these definitions may differ, they also have something in common: these are all qualities that we strive to possess. We want to carry them around in our hearts and hope that they are revealed to those around us. We recognize grace as beauty and strength in others, and in doing so we come to see that grace is not one thing; it is an essence.
The ways in which we exhibit our grace to the world can vary. Strangers and loved ones alike offer grace to us every day and we often don’t even realize it. It is in the big and the little, the beautiful and the unpleasant, the easy and the arduous that grace manifests.
Grace is found in the way we carry ourselves, exuding respect, honor and kindness. Whether toward a stranger or a friend, grace is the way we treat others, with courtesy and understanding — celebrating our loved ones, seeing the best in them even when they don’t see it in themselves. Grace is found in our fumbles, through the way we dust off our knees to once again stand tall and learn from our mistakes. Grace is carried in the tiny affirmations that we share and speak to others, including ourselves, spreading light and a sense of purpose wherever we go.
Grace can also be found in the ways in which we show mercy. By showing forgiveness and acceptance we can lighten the load of those around us – loving them for who they have been, who they are, and encouraging them toward who they are meant to be. It is displayed through our humility, and the bravery of opening our hearts and mind. There is a magnificence that comes from doing so. Grace is in our strength, when we uphold our morals and beliefs when it would be easier to walk a path different from the one we know deep inside that we were made for.
It is not just elegance, kindness or beauty of the heart; grace is so much more. Grace consists of the abundant little gems that we scatter, leaving things better than we found them – creating a trail, which shows where we’ve been and the lives we’ve touched along the way. We see it every day, in the smallest, humblest of moments – hidden in plain sight, patiently waiting to be revealed. Through the eyes of our loved ones, in our own warmth and nurturing that we give without expectation, grace finds a home.
Let us offer our own grace to others and ourselves, always beholding the grace in those who surround us. Never forgetting to look for it in the most unexpected places, as it is always there, waiting to be found.
What is one way you can exhibit grace today?
Image via Megan Robinson