It's Wednesday! Time to link up to Walk A Mile and her Ladies of Grace blog carnival! If you have a story of how you have been offered grace this week, or how you were able to offer grace to another - please share! We learn how to walk this journey together by sharing our experiences in life - by sharing those moments when we notice our heart is hardened and cold, and those moments when our hearts feel a little lighter, softer, and warmer...
My story for this week happened at church on Sunday. (Seems an obvious place to experience grace... but that's not always the case. When you are part of the inner-workings of any place, the politics can always surprise you!) But this Sunday was beautiful.
I've shared many times on this blog about our Thursday night Open Sanctuary - a couple hours a week, we are able to open the sanctuary, light the candles, and allow people to come in and pray, meditate, relax, or re-connect with God in their own way. It's a time of peace in a hectic week... A time to breathe.
Well, we decided to give the congregation a taste of what this is like on a Sunday morning. Half way through the sermon time, we dimmed the lights, lit the candles, and experienced real and profound silence. People were encouraged to get up, come forward, and light their own candle. And just be.
Normally, people do not like anything "different" on Sunday mornings. Normally, we would hear plenty of comments about "don't mess with my worship time." But this congregation is very special. Whenever I ask them to try something new - they do. With no complaints. And seemingly, with open hearts. I stood in the back during this experience and saw the shoulders soften, the eyes close, and the tears fall. Visitors, as well as long time members, got out of their seats and lit candles. Peace was felt.
My heart was nervous and shakey heading into Sunday morning - and it melted and warmed right along with everyone else's as I realized our intention of offering a moment of peace - even on a beautiful Sunday morning - was being accepted and absorbed. I love the feeling that God is standing over us - is in the room - is wrapping His or Her arms around our congregation. It's a grace-filled moment.
What's your grace-filled moment of the week? I'm anxious to hear!
Things I am thankful for today:
1. No headache.
2. Being able to focus at work.
3. Kind comments from friends.
4. Dad's pic message yesterday of Al Franken at the State Fair - made me chuckle.
5. A phone call from Mom.
6. One of my youth group kids is taking his drivers license test tomorrow - and I'm scheduled to have lunch with him afterwards. I'm praying it's a celebration lunch!
7. Coupons from Kohl's - now I can go get my eye cream and moisturizer! Ha ha ha.
8. Tomorrow is Thursday (my Friday!).
9. I have the weekend to myself - to do what I want to do!
10. Looking forward to lunches with friends!