I drove in early Saturday morning, sure to miss the crowds. As I expected, the store was virtually empty. I barely noticed the woman and her daughter who entered just behind me. Making a beeline to the hair care aisle, I no sooner had began to survey the very sparse selection of curling irons when I realized the pair were on the same mission.
They sidled in from the left, and I kindly moved to my right. But my attitude quickly changed as they began reaching for the very last curling iron in the size I wanted. “I WAS HERE FIRST!!!” I internally screamed. “That curling iron should be MINE,” I seethed silently. Thankfully, they put “my” curling iron back on its hook and moved down the aisle. I snatched it quickly before someone else could.
A couple of weeks later I heard a story about a girl named Ariana. While visiting a children’s museum, she happily discovered a room full of toys. However, as soon as other kids came into the room she began rushing about, grabbing as many toys as she could and loudly proclaiming “MINE! MINE!” Of course, she was only two years old.
Ariana’s story made me reflect upon my toddler attitude at the drugstore, when eradicating “bad hair” had motivated me to contemplate bodily assault. I realized that I had allowed my vanity and a sense of entitlement to pulverize any mindset of grace.
How unlike Jesus! He had all the rights of Almighty God, yet willingly forfeited them for mankind’s sake. He came “to serve and not to be served,” and washed the dust and grime from his disciples’ feet. The One who could call on a legion of angels to rescue him hung instead upon a cross to pay for my sins. Jesus’ life was all about grace – intentionally laying aside his rights and giving others what they didn’t deserve.
Every day we are presented with opportunities to extend grace to those who don’t “deserve” it. Sometimes the first person on the list needs to be ourselves! Then, as we go about our lives we can keep our eyes open for others who are in need of grace. Perhaps it’s a family member or co-worker having a bad day. Maybe it’s the customer service agent who made a mistake. Or maybe it’s someone who really needs a curling iron!
Showing simple graces in an age where “road rage” is a household term should be a trademark characteristic of a Christian’s life. After all, if we can’t exhibit grace in the small things, how can we earn the right to share about the ultimate grace-giver, Jesus?