May 1, 2017

The Face of Grace

"While on an errand, I crashed the Volkswagen van that was his pride and joy. His response was gracious: forgiveness and acceptance."


We asked our readers to share with us a name (other than Jesus) who comes to mind when they think of grace. Here are some of their responses.

My brother, Isdar, is always ready to help me, my family, our friends, and others.

Bachir, theology major, Lebanon

When I hear the word “grace,” I immediately think of my favorite aunt, Grace. She endlessly encouraged me during my childhood and teenage years. Throughout my adult life she always treated me as a peer, though I was far from her equal. She died several years ago, but her influence endures.

Bert, editorial director, California

I think of my little girl, Belita Grace. She will soon be 3 years old. She has a doll that she takes everywhere. For the longest time, when people asked what the doll’s name was, she would answer, “Baby.” When she reached the developmental milestone of naming things, her doll was the first thing she named. Now, when people ask what the doll’s name is, she answers, “Gracie.”

Chongo, school psychologist, Michigan

Lester Cushman, physics professor, La Sierra University. He changed my grade from a failing C– to a passing C+ and blamed himself for scoring me wrongly when I plainly missed the mark as a math-challenged artiste.

Christy, author and musician, Arizona

At age 18 I met a distant uncle, Noel. During summer vacation he gave me a job, and lodging in their home. He blessed me with an income. Then, while on an errand, I crashed the Volkswagen van that was his pride and joy. His response was gracious: forgiveness and acceptance. An indelible influence of grace.

Dave, church administrator, South Africa

I think about my friend Fady. He assists me whenever I am in need.

Daniel, theology student, Lebanon, 20.

I think about my friend Jem Barintos. I have never heard him say no to anyone. He is always willing to help anytime you approach him.

Dilip, theology student, Lebanon

Austin, my statistics teacher, College Place, Washington. The last time I took statistics class was in college 28 years ago. I studied hard, but my best was not good enough. I deserved to get a B– from his summer intensive class, but he gave me a B. That’s grace!

Ferdinand, pastor, Texas

I think of Sharon. Other than my parents, no other human being has been more patient, more forgiving, and more merciful to me. She has seen me at my worst and loved me anyway. She has seen me fall and helped me get up. Whatever successes I’ve had in life, I owe to the grace of God and the support of Sharon.

Glenn, academic, Michigan

Susie Henseler personifies grace to me. When I asked her for some [constructive] criticism, she replied that there were enough people unjustly finding fault with me. So she told me only encouraging things.

Karen, pastoral spouse and mother, Oregon

When I say “grace,” my friend Stefano comes to mind. He has helped me like no other friend ever did. He stood by my side by opening his home and supporting me financially during my transition from Dubai to Lebanon to study theology.

Karim, theology student, Lebanon

I admire how my husband, Stephen, always has his antenna up to other’s needs. People don’t have to earn his kindness by knowing him. He sees strangers and seeks to meet their needs.

Kathlyn, homemaker, New York

I think of Silvana. She speaks gently to children and to those who are elderly. She smiles even when her eyes betray how tired she is. As a missionary, even though she is far from home, she always opens her loving heart to generously serve the needy.

Maria, university administration, Lebanon

When I think of grace, my friend Bill comes to mind. He constantly helped the needy and always allowed Jesus to shine through him, even to those who mistreated him. Bill always looked for the good in everyone. In his eyes no soul has fallen beyond God’s grace.

Michael, theology student, Lebanon

My friend Ric. In whatever situation he is in, he responds in a way that reminds me of Christ.

Michael, ESL teacher, Lebanon

My friend David comes to mind. Since high school he has possessed a servant’s heart and maintained a spirit of compassion for family, friends, even strangers.

Richard, pastor, Virginia

My friend Dilip is always ready to help with his whole heart—me, my family, his family, the church community, friends, and others who don’t know him and don’t know Jesus.

Sahin, pastor, Lebanon

Our dog, Autumn Grace, nicknamed “Gracie,” is whom I think of. We dish out a lot of grace when we come home and find out what else she has destroyed!

Sheryl, editorial assistant, Maryland

Madelyn Haldeman, Greek professor at La Sierra University. When I flunked my final Greek exam my senior year, she said, “Will, I will not let Greek keep you out of the ministry. Retake this test. I don’t care how you get the answers; open your books and find the answers.”

Will, pastor, California

I think of my friend, Juliana. Whatever happens, she always comforts my heart with positive words. Sometimes she gives me something to make me feel better

Yechan, theology student, Lebanon

Gerhard and his wife, Maureen, come vividly to my mind. They have shown me grace every day. The love they have exhibited throughout the years is unique; for that reason, they have made me feel unique. Their many sacrifices to train me are remarkable.

Youssry, professor, the Philippines