“Good Gracious Me!”
‘Ever hear that expression?
Wikipedia says it’s an interjection that expresses surprise.
I’m thinking that’s pretty accurate!
After all, I’ve found that when someone extends graciousness to me, my heart does a double-take, pleasantly surprised by undeserved kindness or forgiveness. Isn’t it always surprising? Maybe that’s why we don’t know what to do when someone offers us time, food, or generosities beyond what is expected. There they stand with open arms and we stammer, “Well, I don’t know… Are you sure you want to give this to me?! If it’s not too much trouble… Wow! THANK YOU!”
It’s so beautiful! So undeserved!
So surprising. Good gracious me.
So, I’m gathering everything I know so far about GRACIOUS:
Exhibit #1: Graciousness pours out of the front door of my friend, Lois. Whenever I stop by her house – even unexpectedly – she greets me with such warmth and genuine “Come in! Please, have a seat!” I imagine she sits by the door just waiting for me to show up. Of course, she doesn’t; she has many people and responsibilities relying on her: more than I do! It’s just that she isn’t worried that any one else could ruin her day, keep her from God’s blessing, or steal her joy. With good boundaries in hand, she fills our few moments together with smiles and peace. It’s surprising every time. Quietly surprising that someone had a smile and a few moments of time for me.
(What a glimpse of God’s graciousness towards us!)
Sometimes, our interactions with other people are like collisions. They intrude on our time; we intrude on theirs. They ring the door bell when the baby is sleeping. We catch them in the middle of dinner. We wake them up early. They call our name when we are immersed in writing a post about graciousness. Crash! We run into other humans when it is least convenient; when we are most selfish; when they are most needy; or when we are legitimately preoccupied. Yet, I’m wondering why do I further crush the collision with my irritation, chilliness, or escape plan? Those tactics don’t protect me like they promise to; they just make me mean. Ungracious. Ungodly.
Why not uncrumple those momentary collisions, smooth them out gently, and fill them instead with genuine gratitude and peace?
Why wouldn’t I open the door hoping to surprise someone…