I notice a perfect lip-shaped imprint on my water glass. It is pink lip gloss, perhaps a color I would like but not when it wasn’t my lips that left it there. I catch her eye and noting the lip gloss, I ask for another glass. She apologizes profusely that she didn’t notice it and brings me a clean one.
My four year old tea-date and I order our drinks and tea accompaniments and we wait. The fifty-something year old server is the only one in the tea house and she is spread thin. I see beads of sweat on her forehead and I smile at her. “It’s so hard to get good help” she tells me as she whisks by.
My little lady and I talk about tea manners and how to hold our cup and talk all things girl together. A quite elderly lady walks slowly by, listening to the little girl banter across from my seat, she grins wide and whispers “I love this, this is too wonderful”. I nod in agreement and keep listening to the sweet face across the table. She won’t be four forever. I won’t be her whole world like this for long. I listen and I savor the minutes, the sweetness.
My coffee comes, fairly warm, and I try to wait for the hot cocoa to come so we can sip together. But ten minutes pass and there is no cocoa. I remind her that we did order it and she apologizes again that she forgot it. I observe her righting mistakes all over the place, trying to keep up with an impossible pace.
Audrey tells me what she loves most about having a big sister, how lucky boys are because they get to be married to pretty girls someday and have lots of kids with them and how fun that is – she determines tea dates are fun and “we should do this again” she tells me.
Our bill comes and it’s wrong. I gently note the errors and she goes back to rework it. She returns and I put cash inside and she thanks me for understanding and I reply with words that come without thinking…
I live under so much grace, how could I not extend it to you?
I’ve never said it before or read it in a book but its a truth that sinking deep into my heart, that I’m holding tight to and learning how to live out in new ways. She stops cold, wraps her perspiring self around me and hugs me, total stranger, so tight. Thank you, oh thank you, I’m going to remember that. I needed to hear that. She tells me she’s sorry, again, that she’s too sweaty to hug and I just keep smiling.
It is the absolute truth to me, the daily grace of a living, real God that loves so fully, so infinitely. I feel it covers over mistakes, hurts, misses and frustrated-mom-moments like today when someone shattered a snow globe in the kitchen and went running away instead of alerting me to the danger and then I had glass shards in my socks and…grace wasn’t a frontrunner just then.
I forget. Every day.
And every single day I get the chance, again, to pick up the mantle of grace and hold it over those around me. Knowing full well, I don’t deserve it, neither do any of us. That’s why it’s called grace.