Breathing Grace

“Thanks Grandma!”

We were packing up to leave from my in-laws house, and I heard the kids chirp their thanks. Later, in the car, they excitedly compared their quarters. I decided to ask them a question. “Why did Grandma give you each a quarter?”

They were stumped. It was like I had asked them the atomic weight of Cobalt (58.933u, for anyone who wants to know!). After letting them think about it a while, I turned to them and said “It’s breathing money.”

They got those quarters for no other reason than they are alive, and Grandma loves them. They didn’t earn it, they didn’t even ask for it. It’s just a pure, joyful gift.

I’m not sure if they really understood the explanation, but “breathing money” became a catch phrase around the house. It was like code. It meant they got something for nothing other than just being themselves. And they were loved.

Our Father does the same thing. As his children, we are given grace and power to do his will, every moment of our lives. It’s not earned. It’s a gift given in pure joy. 

My life gives my Father so much happiness, that he is constantly gifting me with his protection, mercy, wisdom…well, every good thing. It’s “breathing grace.”

Some may think that such immense gifts require huge efforts. But it’s not that way at all. All of creation is bathed in grace, every prayer is heard. Not because we are worthy, but because we're family. And He loves us.

I remember the first surgery I ever observed. The nurses told me to plaster myself up against the wall and NOT MOVE. It was a C-section, so there was plenty of action, all focused on the Mom-to-be, and delivering her child ASAP. As I was watching the preparations, one of the nurses came over and told me if I felt faint, I should leave the room.

What? Fainting had never even crossed my mind. I don’t faint. Or do I? Uh oh, what if I do???

Meanwhile, the surgery progressed, and the baby was delivered in a rush of fluid. As the baby cried, I wanted to cry too. It was so beautiful. There was so much joy in that place, and I got to observe the miracle of a life beginning.

Later, I realized that I’d completely forgotten about fainting, or moving away from the wall. As soon as those thoughts were planted, they were taken away, melting in the love of God’s grace. 

He had some things to show me, so he gave me every strength to appreciate the experience. No fainting, no sudden moves. Not because I deserved it, but because he was pleased to give it.

Almost ten years later, it would be me standing in that same room. I was the Operating Room Nurse helping deliver babies. God gave me his gift of appreciation for surgery, medicine and life. All for free.

“Breathing grace.” Just because I’m alive and I am loved.


And it shines more than new quarters in a five year old’s fist.

Linking today with: The Beauty in His Grip, Playdates with God
                                  Unite, Soli Deo Gloria, Teaching What is Good

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