Saying Grace

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I grew up saying “grace” over my food. In fact, we weren’t really allowed to start eating until we had expressed thanks for what were about to receive. I don’t always do that now. For one thing, I carry with me a constant sense of awe and gratitude for every “good” thing and most of the “bad” things in my life. For another thing, I’m forgetful, lazy, and distracted at times; so sometimes I forget to say grace when I eat.

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I was thinking about grace on Halloween. As I walked my grandson around the neighborhood in his iron man costume, I had lots of time to think. Trudge, trudge, thinking deep thoughts…lather, rinse, repeat. After 10 minutes, I was carrying the sweaty headpiece of his costume, then his gloves, and his power watch. I assumed with this trajectory he would be naked if we kept trick or treating long enough. I noticed that no matter how ratchet any of the kids looked, all they had to do was show up and they got candy, and they got the same amount, with a smile. Grace.

The neighbors didn’t always recognize the mask, the character he was portraying, or even who he was, or who he belonged to. What they did see was the beautiful, innocent, loving child’s heart that showed up in his wondrous and currently toothless grin as he shouted, “Trick or Treat!” They laughed, smiled, and delighted in his very presence; no strings attached. Grace.

I’d like to start a new movement. We all know that Christmas is a state of mind that started with Grace, but ended up as a competition, but that is another story for another time. Let’s make Halloween a year-long state of mind where everyone we encounter, no matter how ratchet, how annoying, how lost, blind, ignorant, rude, or whatever gets the same amount of “candy” that everyone else does. That’s the grace I want to say every day this year. I want to love without strings attached; with no regard for who they are or who they belong to or how they are dressed or undressed. I want to give because I see the innocent, loving child they once were, and still are deep inside, underneath a mountain of pain and self-induced suffering. I want to make every day Halloween, even if it shocks my Puritan ancestors. Today I want to say Grace.

This article was written by Dori Abbott, one of our Woman Within Eastern USA members.