A Slice Of Life To Go is an online Christian blog written by Todd Thompson. It encourages people to see the beauty in ordinary moments and to know God’s unconditional, unfailing love in everyday life.

Extending Grace

October 30th, 2001

“Tom, this is Todd calling. Hey, did you fax me anything yesterday?”

Yesterday Tom said he was faxing facts and figures. By noon. It’s 10:35 AM a day later. If he did fax it, I didn’t get it.

“No, Todd, I didn’t.” Honest response. Straight answer. Surprising. Not that Tom isn’t honest.

“I was just checking. We’ve been having trouble with our fax machine the last couple days.” The fax machine has been a problem. But mostly I was trying to give him an out.

“The truth is”, short pause. When I pause like this I’m thinking of an excuse. I wondered what Tom’s excuse would be?

“The truth is I’ve been busier than a one-armed paper hanger trying to put all this together for you. I just didn’t get it finished yesterday. And today I can’t use my computer. Our server went down.”

The inconvenience of technology. I need that fax. My boss will be asking for it. Tom’s server crash is not my problem.

“Tom, if you get to heaven and you see a computer be very afraid. Because you’re not where you think you are.”

Laughter. Relief. Grace extended. My fax will arrive. Sometime. Until then, the planet continues to spin.

I wish extending grace was second nature to me. I wish I could say I routinely lighten the load of those I meet. But I don’t. Extending grace doesn’t come naturally to me. This day it took 30 hours without sleep and being up all night with a sick baby to effectively fatigue me into remembering that I am a person in need of grace. Lots of grace.

Tomorrow is another day. Baby Annie will likely be feeling better. I’ll get just enough sleep to pull me back to my old self again. My same old stubborn, self-reliant self. God says He knows better. He says He knows my frame. That I’m just made of so much dust. But because I’m His dust He has compassion on me as a father has compassion on his children. He doesn’t give me the paybacks I deserve. He chooses instead to dump kindness on my head. Go figure.

Sick babies. No sleep. Server crashes. We all have our stuff.  Which is to say we all need grace.

Next time you talk to “Tom” on the phone, extend grace. It won’t make your fax arrive any sooner and it sure won’t fix a devil computer. But a little laughter and some relief can’t help but make someone’s day, if not better, at least not so bad.

Some days, not so bad is pretty ok.

“As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for He knows how we are formed, He remembers that we are dust.” – Psalm 103:13-14