The author, Anne Lamott, has been noted to say; “I do not at all understand the mystery of grace – only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us.”
On Sunday as I sat in awe and witnessed the ordination of a dear friend, I was transported back to the very first time I met her. She came to my office, rather wide-eyed, seeking help and needing a guide as she navigated a path toward ministry. I was immediately drawn to her, not sure why, but maybe we were just kindred spirits. Nonetheless, that day began a now twelve-year friendship.
Sonna has taught me so much about life, and love, and grace. You see our lives by no means parallel one another. We are quite different. Sonna was born in a place where violence was rampant. Her parents were absent, her father eventually went to prison…her future was by no means bright. Had it not been for the initiative of an aunt and uncle to remove her from such an environment, she may not even be alive today. Sonna tells the story of looking out the back window as they drove away from such a desperate place. Even at four years old she was astute enough to recognize the situation for what it was.
So, as I watched with tears rolling down my face, the evidence of grace was so real. It was grace that took Sonna out of a no-win situation. It was grace that provided opportunities for Sonna to grow-up in an environment that encouraged faith and learning and that anything is possible. It was grace that was the gentle guiding hand when life seemed overwhelming and too much to handle. It was grace that lit a fire in Sonna to be passionate about how through relationships anything can be overcome. It was grace that opened doors when so many seemed to be closed. And it was grace that never left Sonna where she was…but through the healing power of a God who loves with a reckless love…Sonna reached a new mountaintop full of hope and promise.
It is God’s grace that swoops in and rescues us in our darkest moments. Through grace we find the confidence to trust God with our truest self and with God’s help live into the person we are intended to be. Had Sonna not been given the chance to break the cycle of oppression in her young life, the holy moment I witnessed would have never come to be. Praise God from whom all blessing flow!