Why Unlikely Grace?

When you think about it, grace is always “unlikely.” That’s part of what makes grace grace. But a word so familiar in religious circles could perhaps use the qualifier. After all, it’s the “unlikely” ones who marvel most at God’s grace. Because the ones we would least expect to be the beneficiaries of grace didn’t expect it for themselves either. In fact, it was probably the last thing they ever expected!

Sometimes just as unexpected are the things that land us in need of grace in the first place. They have a way of coming out of nowhere, flattening us, and leaving us lying in a ditch, broken and bruised and wondering how it all happened.

At that point, grace is what we least expect. What we do keep scanning the horizon for though is humiliation and that other shoe that’s sure to drop. We expect judgment. We expect what we deserve because we, of all people, should have known better and can’t even plead ignorance.

But God knows that’s the place where grace will finally make sense. Grace will mean something to us. Grace will go from a buzz word to a blazoned word, etched on every piece of our broken heart. Because it was so unlikely, it will take our breath away. We will grab it and never want to let go. It will be the treasure worth losing everything else for. We will live it and breathe it and know that we could never live and breathe a day without it.

Maybe you’ve experienced this unlikely grace yourself. Or maybe you’re flat on your back still struggling to believe it’s for you, like the doubting ones Frederick Buechner described so well:

Maybe there is someone God is calling you to extend such extravagant grace to in this season, someone “unlikely,” someone you can’t imagine being gracious to without God’s unlikely grace at work in your own heart.

Dare to believe it! Dare to extend it! And I’d love to hear what happens when you do! Let’s share our stories of unlikely grace as we learn to walk this faith-paved way together.

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