It was my turn to mow the dandelions in the upper field where the fruit trees reside.  This job requires a riding lawn mower which I have no objections to because I can ride it like a possessed woman in full rabbit gear.

The scene is probably comical to anyone who may catch me doing this.  Seeing an older woman fully decked out in a wide brim hat, sunglasses and a second layer unbuttoned long sleeve shirt flapping in the breeze like a flag on a pole is sure to produce a smile if not a giggle.

The field is riddled with gopher hills making it difficult to navigate the many bumps while recklessly maneuvering the riding mower.  When I do hit a mound it’s usually at the max speed of the mower causing my buttocks to catch some air which always produces a smile that erupts across my face.  At times a flash of hesitancy comes upon me allowing a smidgen of common sense to flow through my brain telling me that this might be dangerous.  But as fast as the thought came it’s gone, and I continue with my precarious perch upon the demon machine.

As I guide the mower in and out of the orchard, I swoop into circles around each tree at a speed causing the centrifugal force to push me halfway out of my seat.  While my left hand hangs onto the mower for stability the right hand steers the mower into a continuous circle propelling me faster causing me to ponder if I will make it around the next circle upright on the mower.

Upon doing another circle I realized that I had just mowed over my brand-new garden hose.  I stopped the mower to inspect it and saw that it was unharmed.  I contemplated for a moment if I should pick it up or continue with my mowing hoping the hose will survive.  With the pedal to the metal, I threw caution into the wind, grasped the steering wheel, and prepared myself for the next circle around the tree.

Before I could complete the circle, I heard a noise under the mower and then something spit out the side with some dandelions.  As I look over into the grass, my fear became reality.  I chopped up my new hose.  The words that flew out of my mouth surprised me and when I looked up, there plain as day was my neighbor watching and hearing every word that I yelled.  Thankfully all she said was, “Was that your hose?”  I nodded yes and was grateful for the grace she offered me knowing that I was not a perfect person.

“Grace is the very opposite of merit… Grace is not only undeserved favor, but it is favor, shown to the one who has deserved the very opposite.” – Harry Ironside

In today’s world I have noticed that it is hard to find grace.  With the fast pace we keep it’s hard to slow down, take a breath, and show a little compassion and understanding.

I ran across a phrase by theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

“The essence of grace, we suppose, is that the account has been paid in advance; and, because it has been paid, everything can be had for nothing.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

After reading the quote a few times trying to wrap my brain around the words, I began to dig deeper learning more about the meaning of the essence of grace.  What does it mean?

Essence: The intrinsic nature or indispensable quality of something, especially something abstract, that determines its character.

Grace:  Kindness, favor, mercy, pardon, reprieve, the quality or state of being considerate or thoughtful.

For me, showing grace towards someone else is not always easy.  At times it requires self-control to override my shortcomings so I can offer kindness.  If I cannot do this, then why am I worthy enough to receive God’s mercy?

“Grace is the voice that calls us to change and then gives us the power to pull it off.” – Max Lucado

The beautiful thing about the essence of grace is that it’s free.  You can’t sell it or trade for it.  It just doesn’t work like that.  Why?  Because the essence of grace is God, He is the intrinsic nature behind it.

Grace is the unmerited, loving favor and graciousness our Creator God shows to us. His grace is driven by His character of perfect love and concern toward us. God’s grace is so powerful and valuable that there’s nothing we could ever do to earn it. – Written by Florante Siopan and John Foster in What is the Grace of God?

That’s why it doesn’t matter what you did, God’s grace is free to everyone.  Yes, EVERYONE!

I challenge you to offer compassion, kindness and love to someone even if they might not appreciate it or return the favor.  Remember, it’s free.  No strings attached.

Ephesians 2:4-5 – But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved.

Photo by Alec Shute on Unsplash





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