Give Grace A Hand
Grace doesn’t just surprise us; it also often invites us to be part of the surprise. We can choose to be its partner. 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 rule to follow:
- They can’t know you were involved. Your task is not to 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 person. Your goal is convince them that “life is good!”
Come to your group prepared not only to tell the story of how you gave grace a hand, but also to share your answers to these questions:
- 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?
- Why did you choose the recipient you did? Does this say anything about what kinds of people you think “deserve grace”?
- How was this spiritual for you? Did it just make you feel happy? Or part of something larger than yourself?
Option 2: Take Up “Grace Watching”:
As a way of reminding yourself of life’s giftedness, spend a week documenting the number of times you see grace in action. Also document any moments you experienced a sense of grace. How did it feel? Come to your group prepared to share what your experiences.
Option 3: A Cup of Grace
This exercise is adapted from Joyce Rupp’s book The Cup of Our Life. Make this a daily practice for the month of December.
Find a cup or a mug. It can be your favourite or most beautiful china tea cup, or the old mug with a chip. Choose a spot to leave it for the month, somewhere you will notice it. Again, you can make a small altar with a pretty cloth or tuck it on a bathroom windowsill.
Each day, hold the empty cup in your hands. Look at all the room the cup has for filling. Picture an inner part of yourself. Notice how much room there is for filling. Hold the cup out before you as if it were a buddhist monk’s begging bowl.
Ask God/the universe/the mystery to fill you. Stay with this prayer for as long as you can.
Or if that isn’t comfortable for you, look at the cup and consider all the blessings in your life which fill your cup. All the gifts given to you, undeserved or unexpected. What makes you grace-full?
Come to the theme group with the story of how you experienced this daily practice. Did your experience change over time?