Thursday, May 10, 2012

A Reservoir of Grace

At the office, we have a provision called a "Sick Bank", whose basic purpose is to provide sick leave to fellow employees who really need it, but have used theirs up. Here's how it works: Let's say you've had a really good year, and health-wise, you've had a banner year. So good, in fact, that your accumulated sick time has been untapped; you have plenty left over. This accumulated, unused sick time goes into a "bank" so that your colleagues can draw from the savings when they most need it. The Sick Bank is not for sniffles and minor setbacks, rather it is available for a person in case of incapacitating, catastrophic, personal illness after his or her own sick days have been exhausted. So I was thinking. Wouldn't it be great if we had something in life called a Grace Bank? This would be a fluid, refreshing cascade of GRACE available to anyone suddenly incapacitated by, say, a broken spirit or extremely low hope platelets. Maybe the person is a bereft parent with a wayward child and has spent every last bit of his own grace on the kid; he could certainly use a hefty withdrawal from the Grace Bank, for his unseen, debilitating wounds. Or maybe the person married to an alcoholic, who carries battle scars from years of worry and heartbreak. Couldn't she have access to the Grace Bank, too? Wouldn't its reservoirs of strength get her through another day? Certainly her personal illness, though unseen, is catastrophic in nature. I could list a plethora of scenarios here - you get the picture. For you, too, are surrounded by dear ones who have spent all their Grace and the only loose change left in their Bank is jangling misery, crumpled bits of counterfeit hope. How amazing, then, to step up to the Grace Bank and withdraw during seasons of despair? We all travel in seasons. Some of us, maybe you, are enjoying a season of calm. You are able to build up your Grace Allotment and you're so grateful for this boon that you choose to pour your excess grace into the lives of those around you who are suffering. You are doing something so precious, so under-the-radar, yet so very critical to the wellbeing of another. When you give to the Grace Bank, you are carrying someone out of the depths of discouragement. How do you contribute to the Grace Bank? Simple - a smile, a hug, a personal note of encouragement. When your grace is overflowing, extend it to the person who has used theirs up. And you can take that to the bank.