God’s gift of grace
Nobody is ever beyond the reach of God’s healing, saving grace, as a young student experienced after being attacked by a group of bullies for race-based reasons.
When the world seems full of unrest and disrespect, grace can seem like a quickly melting candle, flickering out in a dark night.
But Christian Science links grace with Truth, a name for God. “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” by Mary Baker Eddy states, “Grace and Truth are potent beyond all other means and methods” (p. 67). So grace isn’t something personally manufactured. It is in operation at all times, because it is an attribute of God. Therefore it occurs naturally in God’s creation and is available to anyone.
I grew up on an island where I was a racial minority, and people of my race were often bullied. I was grateful that, even though a Caucasian, I happened to look more like one of the native islanders and could speak the local dialect. So, on my first day at a new school, when I was invited to join a group of native kids, I was delighted.
Soon, though, I found that my new friends spent a lot of time bullying those of different races. I was afraid. If they knew I was actually one of these minorities, might they terrorize me, too? Regrettably, I was silent for several weeks.
Finally, I decided to do something about it. I brought a minority friend of mine to lunch, along with a plate of cookies that I hoped would appease my group of friends. However, the cookies went flying, and threats were made. On my way to the bus after school that day, I was set upon by kids from this group, who kicked me and beat me.
I had no idea how to escape. I reached out to God as best I could. My prayer was simple. I knew that God is Love; it said so on the wall of the Christian Science Sunday School I attended. And I had learned that Jesus understood God as Love, too. So, I just thought about God as Love.
I was on the ground and covering my head when I saw relief coming – the substitute bus driver. He immediately disciplined the kids in the group, but in a way that showed that he knew them to be better than the way they were acting. They responded with remorse as well as obedience and understanding. He then made sure I was all right. I felt that this wonderful man was seeing all of us in the same loving light. This was the grace of God shining through His creation.
God’s grace, as expressed by the bus driver, healed me and made my simple prayer light up a more spiritual love in me. I was instantly freed of hatred, and I felt filled with a sense of unity with all that is good. Fears for my own well-being vanished, and my courage to feel unity with all of God’s creation blossomed into peace.
With that peace came many later opportunities to prove the efficacy of expressing grace that sees each one of us as one with God, without exception.
Grace and good deeds were embodied in the life of Christ Jesus. The book of Luke says of Jesus, “The grace of God was upon him” (2:40). In Jesus’ life, grace took many forms, from a loving touch that healed the sick or a persuasive divine view that reformed the sinner, to a firm stand against the money-changers who were corrupting the holy purpose of the temple of God (see Matthew 21:12, 13). The grace that characterized Jesus saves us from the villainy that would try to divide us, diminish the impact of our lives, and erode our faith in what is right and good.
The Bible assures us, “Whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world” (I John 5:4). “The world” could refer to anything that wars against God’s loving purpose for His creation: goodness, harmony, and fellowship. It follows that grace and its attending qualities, being born of God, are able to overcome what would claim to be destructive.
God’s abundant grace is continuously expressed in His creation, reflected in qualities such as courage, patience, strength, and temperance. The recognition and acknowledgment of grace, wherever we see it expressed, will bless us as a power and presence in our own lives for the benefit of all. We don’t have to conjure up grace; it is of God, and it overcomes the world. What a great gift!
Adapted from an article published on sentinel.christianscience.com, May 12, 2022.