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On the Corner

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BY ROBERT DOCTER

Tiny moments of grace

Grace spreads her generous beauty in tiny moments ­ sensed with your heart.

It passes fleetingly when undiscerned ­ the moment gone when ignored ­ the opportunity missed ­ a connection broken.

Grace never pushes herself ­ never demands attention ­ never seeks to stay when unwelcomed ­ showers her unassumed elegance without favor.

Anger suffocates grace. Self-centeredness rejects it. Grudging reluctance dissipates it. Broken commitment denies it. Dishonesty drowns it in a pool of deceit. Judgmentalism buries it in legalese.

Grace is felt more than seen ­ experienced more than heard ­ sensed in the heart more than by touch ­ returns as doubled when given.

For me, grace arrives in many ways.

­ a baby’s smile

­ a grandson’s hug on a gray, cold day

­ sincerity

­ the noise of happy children

­ true love in any form

­ growing old together

­ truly connecting

­ patience in the face of frustration

­ overflowing joy in the eyes of a loved one

­ tiredness at the end of a

hard day’s honest work

­ hearing someone close say “I love you.”

­ genuineness

­ empathy

­ learning what to achieve

­ growing

­ acceptance

­ coming home

­ peace in the middle of the night

­ never-ending, undeserved forgiveness

­ the depth a poem brings to the soul

­ music

­ experiencing freedom

­ a flower

­ a sunrise and a sunset

­ wonder

­ finding the balance in safety and risk

­ little acts of mercy

It is through grace I have learned

­ that my true humanness is found not in laurels but in love

­ that the marginalized of my world are my best teachers

­ that diversity is one of God’s most remarkable gifts to the world

­ that labeling or judging others negatively only diminishes me

­ that what God really wants from me is a relationship

­ that he is always available but will not impose himself on me

­ that I disappoint him often

­ that if I ask, he will always forgive me

­ that if I get to know him better I will want to be more like him ­ and find myself in a state of grace.

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