We had such sad news this week. My son Matthew’s friend Jason died, a young man we remember best as a sweet and shy seventh grader. To put a positive spin on this would be a crime. He was a boy who struggled, and that is all there is to say.
The next day, I received the gift of grace by chance. It’s strange how things like this work. One moment you’re defeated, without an explanation for something heartbreaking. Then out of the blue something wonderful happens and healing seems possible. A path opens up.
I went to a holiday party down the block the day after Jason died. In the kitchen stood my friend with a radiant smile and a confident pose. Not long ago she was the victim of a random assault and nearly died. I wondered how it was possible to become this person with an easy smile.
To ask is too intimate. Instead, I am going to tell her how it felt to be with her, how comforting it was to remember that recovery is possible and how I loved seeing her shine. Thursday is the official day to give thanks, but I will be thankful forever for the moment I saw her and slowly realized that hope is reasonable and that there is true grace to be said every day.
Thursday will be busy, busy with lots of cooking and arranging-food, chairs, people. Most likely, there will be a grand grace with a tribute to family and collective good fortune. I am going to look around the table to find my true grace. That’s the plan. I hope you do too.