People who bear God’s thumbprints

There are people who have the unmistakable stamp of Grace, the thumbprint of God, on their face and their life.

There’s Nicole, a friend who was in dire straits, emotionally and spiritually, when I met her. She came to Jesus, and is today a woman of poise and beauty, walking in forgiveness and health. And because she has days and weeks of feeling still-not-whole, the grace that is upon her is all the more evident. God works in her. God works through her. And the work is plainly God’s, not hers. I love her for all of this, and also because she loves my children, and also because she laughs when I think I’m being funny.

And then there’s Anne (name changed) who has a very hard life, with an awkward marriage, children in various stages of rebellion and/or emotional illness, one seriously ill child, and a checkered past. Anne comes to church, shares openly about the things that are breaking her heart (and there are many), weeps, and weepingly thanks God for his love and provision.

And I think about Ray, a guy we met at church when he was yet an unbeliever and homeless. We got to know him as he became more and more attracted to Jesus, and finally gave his heart to Him. We watched him find housing, a job, a life. We prayed for him this winter after a catastrophic car crash that should have killed him, that shattered his skull into tiny fragments, leaving a gaping crater on one side. He had surgery a few months ago to have a plate put into the crater. He looks nearly back to himself now, and is sounding like the old Ray, except he’s VERY vocal about the goodness of God.

There’s my friend Lisa, our pastor’s wife. Not untiring, as pastor’s wives are generally thought to be. Discourageable. And yet full of grace and strength and humor. Full of interest in whatever I might have to tell her. Full of appreciation for me and my family. Full of words from THE Word, encouraging and gracious speech that rolls right out of Scripture and off of her tongue like honey. Also, maker of the most astounding chocolate mousse I’ve ever tasted.

There’s a lady in our Sunday School class, LeAnna, (name changed), whose husband comes and goes, but mostly goes. She lives on desperately small means in a seedy apartment complex with her 4 children. “Life is full of surprises,” LeAnna says, “and we have to face them.” She sits and nods knowingly as she listens to Anne talking about watching a child be rushed to the hospital for a suicide attempt, and knowing the peace of God because of the love of His family. LeAnna nods, and knows that the peace of God passes her understanding.

These people are examples to me of grace. This is why we need the Body of Christ. We need each other as mirrors, to hold up to one another and say, “Here, SEE? He’s with you. He’s good. His grace is on us.”

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