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I apologize for the lack of a post last week.  For the most part, life and math happened.  Life was, well, things in life that kept me from sitting down and focusing on writing.  Math was Joe and Bella needing my help with their math homework just as I was sitting down to write.

So, I ask for some grace.  I know that only a few of you may have even noticed and that I need not ask for your “forgiveness” if I don’t get a post out every week but it directly ties into what has been on my heart lately.


(Webster’s definition, practical application, contrast with “mercy”, etc.) blah blah blah.

What I’m saying is this.  Given the well established truth that everyone is facing something, that everyone has a story, that well, life happens, why don’t we just offer some grace to people in our life?  In my world when someone (and they do, not often, but it happens) just jumps down my throat I want to scream, “Oh, I get it, my son passed away and I’m doing all I can to hold my family together but your problem (misunderstanding) renders me a huge offending villain in your world?  My bad.”  I don’t yell that.  THAT would be messy, unseemly, rude, and a bit too vulnerable.  Rather, I beg God for some clarity in the moment and instead, offer them some grace.  I apologize for my part of the misunderstanding and move on.  Yes, there’s a part of me that would love to either remind them or explain to them the gist of what I quoted in my “wish I could” rant.  I would love to drop the “G” (grief) card on them (apparently the societal allowance for odd or non traditional behavior following the loss of a loved one is 12 months) yet I don’t.

Instead, I offer them grace.  I don’t (typically) know their story.  I’m sure that they are going through their own battle and some of it just leaked on me.  I go to a select few people and share what happened (in detail) and allow them to comfort me.  If I don’t do that guess what happens?  The next time I’m slighted, the next time something bad rolls my way, I give some poor sap much more than they deserve.  Too often, it’s a close loved one.  THAT is no good.

You say, “…but Jay, I’m done offering grace.  I do it time and again and end up always being the door mat.”  I am very sorry.  I know that is many people’s stories.  Yet, what does jumping down the throat of the next person do to help you heal the hurts of all those times that you have been affronted before this time?  Rather, it helps you slide down the slippery slope toward bittertown.

One other quick note.  Going to a “select few to be comforted” is a far cry from, “running to everyone and telling my side of the story in such a way that makes me look awesome and totally the victim, leaving out my guilt and anything I’ve done wrong.”  Don’t be that person either.  *I can also see how you may think that I am doing exactly that in a passive aggressive way.  I assure you that I am not.*

That is one of the primary reasons I started this blog in the first place.  I desperately want people to realize that your emotional needs are just important as your physical, intellectual, and spiritual needs are in your day to day life.  When we ignore those other needs we know that there are severe consequences.  Yet, we blissfully and to a large degree ignorantly neglect our emotional needs and just “move on.”  Thus, as individuals and as a society we grow less and less able to handle things…emotionally.

So, for now, I am just wishing that folks would offer some grace when affronted, disparaged, hurt, or put off in any way.  I will hope that people could calmly express hurt feelings in a productive and clear way and not just jump to the worst possible scenario.  As long as I’m wishing for the the moon AND stars, I would love it if people were able to heal and be comforted so that there would be no back log of hurt feelings fueling this fire of quick retorts and snappy retaliations.

People are accountable for what they say and do.  However, let’s try to give them a little more time and perhaps the benefit of the doubt…at least once.

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