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Amazing Grace

By Stacie Chadwick

Reading between the Pines

Long before I understood if I would, should or could have children, I knew that my firstborn daughter would be named Grace. And so she was. Prior to that, before my husband and I had yet to lay eyes on each other, I further knew that “Amazing Grace” would be the cornerstone song on our wedding day. And so it was. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been infatuated with the word and its underlying meaning. Yet, only as I’ve grown older am I beginning to understand the elemental reasons why.

The concept of grace is rooted in forgiveness, not because you have to, but because you feel compelled to for the greater good. It’s centered on extending a helping hand in equal proportion to a stranger as a friend when intuition tells you it’s needed most.

Grace is elegant. It’s refined. It’s a knowing nod instead of a harsh word…silence in lieu of “I told you so.” It’s a compromise in a world of growing contrasts.

Grace is personal. It grows from the strongest place in each of our individual hearts and is grounded in benevolence, compassion and love.

Grace is all about smiling and shaking your head in the grocery store line or parking lot when someone cuts you off. It’s laser focused on giving others the benefit of the doubt when they’re behaving badly, because perhaps they live between layers of hurt that openly present as pain.

Grace is courteous. It’s a promise of tolerance, understanding and in many cases, leniency.

Grace is often under served and can be counted as one of life’s great gifts.

Maybe the root of my lifelong relationship with grace springs from a fundamental knowledge that as a human being I can do better, be better, forgive more and judge less. Perhaps that one tiny word is the key to a life well-lived – an easy mark with monumental consequences.

I want to help create and exist in a world of tolerance. Of acceptance. Of peace. The path to all of these places is deeply personal. And it starts with grace.

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