Give Grace a Hand

Practice of the Week
Give Grace a Hand

Category: Occasional. These are practices suggested for "every once in a while." Some of them are responses to a particular need that may arise; others are simply enriching occasional enhancements to the spiritual life. All of them are worth a try at least once. And any of them might become a regular and central part of your spiritual practice.

Grace doesn’t just surprise us; it also often invites us to be part of the surprise. It’s sneaky that way. It likes to enlist us as its partner-in-crime. This exercise asks us to explore that more deeply— it asks us to notice how we are both givers and receivers of grace. Simply put, your challenge is to find a way to bring grace to someone’s life. That may seem simple, but there is one big, challenging rule you must follow: They can’t know you were involved!

Your task is not a generic "do a good deed.” It is to help someone experience life differently. The goal is to remind someone that life itself is generous, not stingy; open, not closed; full of surprises, not full of threats. If they know you are involved, it will only convince them that you are a good guy or gal. Your goal is to convince them that “life is good!”

Here is some inspiration to help you. (Notice that some of these ideas involve you getting grace to many people at once. If that's your calling as well, go for it!):
In your journal, tell the story of how you gave grace a hand, and reflect on these questions:
  1. Was remaining anonymous harder than you thought? Did the difficulty have more to do with you wanting credit or with you wanting to vicariously experience the recipients joy?
  2. Why did you choose the recipient you did? Does this say anything about what kinds of people you think “deserve grace”?
  3. How was this spiritual for you? Did it just make you feel happy? Or part of something larger than yourself?
  4. Did the recipient have any trouble receiving the gift? Did others have trouble with the fact that they didn’t get the gift themselves?
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For list of all weekly practices: "Practices of the Week Index"

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