I picked up the phone and dialed the number by memory. It had been a while since I dialed any number by memory, let alone this one, but as I stared at the keypad, my fingers dialed it effortlessly.
I cannot tell you how many times I have typed those seven digits over the course of almost thirty years.
But today, as they have for so many years, those digits unlocked a treasure: the sound of my friend’s voice.
When we first met in 5th grade, Connie and I weren’t big fans of each other. In fact, I am likely the reason that she never got to go outside during recess for an entire year. But over the course of a school year, we became friends to the point that we really just had one name: Connieandnikol.
Our friendship carried on, miraculously, through middle school and high school, and we were roommates in college for all five-ish years.
As path’s often do, our’s split when we left college, but the thread of Connie’s friendship is woven deeply into the fabric of my heart.
We talk sporadically these days, but when we do talk there is…
Just love and acceptance that seem to grow with each passing year.
I’ve often thought about the extraordinary gift of her friendship and wondered how it has weathered the years, and there is one word that resounds with me: grace.
You see, Connie and I are very different, and have been our entire lives. Yet, even though we don’t always agree or have the same things in common, we have consistently extended grace to each other.
Grace to grow without obligation;
grace to be without expectation;
and grace to fall without condemnation.
Grace is an extension of love that we have for others; and the grace we extend is dim in comparison to the grace that God extends to us. His grace is magnificent and mind-boggling and truly amazing.
Is there someone in your life that needs grace?
Perhaps you think they are unlovely;
or you have deemed them unworthy;
or maybe their offense unforgivable.
But if He – the One who is perfect, the One who is righteous, and the only One who is just in His judgments chose to give us grace, who are we to deny it to another?
“Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.” – Colossians 3:13