But then, isn't that the definition of a gift? Something completely undeserved? What do I do on my birthday that merits a gift? Absolutely nothing. Christmas? Again nothing. And on this particularly overwhelming Tuesday? You guessed it, nothing. A sweet lady just felt the pull to give, and she had no idea what a blessing it would be, and what a lesson it would teach.
In the middle of this not-particularly-great Tuesday, and after already losing my patience a few times before noon, I got a text from my mom about this completely unexpected gift. And in the moment it floored me. But I didn't really have time to let it all sink in. But thinking back later, I couldn't help but wonder to God: "Lord, I don't deserve this. Especially not today. I know I have not been a reflection of you today (but to be fair, neither were my students). Why would you choose to use this woman to bless me with this today?"
The answer that came was simple: GRACE.
I have always struggled with free, undeserved gifts. As I have previously confessed here, I am a workaholic, and along with that comes the attitude that I need to earn everything. Love. Approval. Respect.
Grace can't be earned. If it could, it wouldn't be grace. (Funny how that works.) This gift was a pure reminder of grace. That even in the middle of what feels like my worse day, in the middle of my bad attitude, in the middle of my struggles, God extends grace.
"But he said to me 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.'" 2 Corinthians 12:9
Am I perfect? Nope. But God's grace covers me (praise the Lord for that). And because of that, I am reminded to extend grace to others, even first graders who are just ready for summer, ninth graders who are completely missing the point, and everyone in between.
I hope your day is filled with grace today.