On Day 7 of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge, I am honored to have Patricia Crisafulli, New York Times bestselling author, speaker, and founder of the e-literary website Faith, Hope and Fiction. Her latest work is Inspired Every Day: Essays and Stories to Brighten Your Day, Give You Hope and Strengthen Your Faith, published by Hallmark (March 2014). She is also a featured blogger on Huffington Post.
Thank you, “Grace”:
Finding Extraordinary Moments in Ordinary Life
By Patricia Crisafulli
So there I was, in the longest security line at LaGuardia Airport, snaked all the way up the ramp and around the corner. And I had an early departure burning a hole in my pocket.
After two long days of back-to-back meetings in New York, I managed to get to the airport in time for the earlier flight back to Chicago. But the time window to get through security and to the gate was closing fast, and I was still way back in the security line. I began to wonder if I’d even make my original flight.
From out of nowhere appeared a uniformed TSA person who, after hearing my plight, plucked me from the line and brought me to the front. She stared down the business traveler who had just shucked off his Armani jacket and Gucci shoes and belt and wasn’t about to let an interloper ahead of him. I got the gate and onto that plane.
Thank you, Grace.
No, that’s not the name of the TSA person. Rather, I’m talking about her act of kindness, which was totally unexpected and undeserved on my part. That is grace.
The classic definition of grace is “unmerited divine assistance,” as if Somebody Up There has sent you a text with smiley face and angel wings attached: ^Ο^. A more secular interpretation is “an act of kindness,” particularly if it arrives unexpectedly.
Like the time several years ago when I went to the Department of Motor Vehicles, a graceless place with its gray walls and matching speckled floor, to change the address on my driver’s license. I waited so long for my number to be called that I had to leave without ever making it to the counter. When I came back, I was prepared for a long siege with a book to read and pages to edit. Given the crowd assembled already, I would be there for another couple of hours.
I didn’t even bend my knees to sit down, when the automated system flashed my number on the screen (no, not the original number from before—a brand new one). I was out the door within 15 minutes with a new license. Just as I was leaving the DMV, I spotted a fresh red rose petal on the floor. How it got there, I can’t say. But it seemed to have divine fingerprints all over it.
Grace is not just about speeding through lines or getting a parking space close to the door. But I do think those mundane moments remind us that there is grace to be experienced and encountered in everyday life. Looking for grace keeps me connected to Something (insert religious/philosophical interpretation here) that makes me feel not quite so alone, abandoned, or forgotten—which pretty much describes daily life for a writer working on a novel. The alternative of not doing that seems pretty dismal.
So call it luck, serendipity, coincidence, a sign from above. But why not just make that leap of Matthew McConaughey-Oscar-speech-inspired faith and say “Amen, alright, alright, alright” to grace? You just might go to the head of the line.
Five Tips for Finding Grace
• Buy into it. You know what they say; when you buy a little red car, all you see are little red cars. Ditto with grace. Once you buy into grace, you’ll see it everywhere.
• Embrace it. Is it luck? Coincidence? Kismet? Just call it “grace” and be done with it.
• Trust it. Given its unexpected, and even undeserved, nature, you can’t say when grace will appear. But trust that it will—and when you least expect it.
• Be grace-ful. We are the conduits of grace for others. So hold a door, give a seat, make room. Be gracious.
• Be grateful. Nothing attracts grace like gratitude. Just try it.
Living “grace-fully” is an attitude, an acceptance that little drops of the extraordinary are sprinkled all over ordinary life. Where have you encountered grace?
P.S.: Stay tuned for my review of Patricia’s latest book Inspired Every Day: Essays and Stories to Brighten Your Day, Give You Hope and Strengthen Your Faith – all I can say now is – it is wonderful!
Follow Patricia on Twitter and Facebook
And today, let’s visit:
Sreeja Praveen of The Alter Ego
Cathy Graham of Cattitude and Gratitude
In his book ‘The Luck Factor’, Richard Wiseman has confirmed in a case study that people who consider themselves lucky keep getting lucky breaks, while people who consider themselves unlucky get the same lucky breaks, but fail to spot them.
Proactive Indian recently posted…Golden Rule
Wow, Vidya, this books sounds like something we can have always carry with us like a talisman 🙂 Patricia nails it when she says, ” Embrace it”. Only if we were insightful enough to embrace every drop of kindness we are blessed with, we would be wealthier everyday, it terms of things that really matter !
Thanks for sharing this with us, Patricia. Waiting for your book, and thanks Vidya, for bringing her here 🙂 That was so graceful of you !
( And hey, I just saw the last two lines…. Thanks a lot for the special mention 🙂 feeling warm all over ! )
Sreeja Praveen recently posted…A to Z Random Post # 7 G – The Guard !
Grace Grace, Wonderful Grace, Amazing Grace! yes, Grace saw me through and Grace still does! I have been so Graced, I can only but be Gracious to others!
#AtoZer at http://myeverydaypersonal.blogspot.be/
Marie Abanga recently posted…Trailer To My Thriller – Episode 2
Wow. Such a happy graceful read. Be graceful, grateful and embrace it. Perfectly said… <3
Very beautiful read. Thanks for sharing, Vidya 🙂 Perfect!
Shalini recently posted…FOREVER ALONE NO MORE- 7
Thank you Patricia and Vidya for bringing this fabulous post to us! Living grace-fully is an attitude, we need ti embibe it, embrace it. Thank you ladies for this beautiful reminder!
Aditi recently posted…Grey Powder
I love the tips that were given Thankyou!
They are worthy tips and yes, I do bump into acts of grace from time to time too!
Teaching English with Mr. Duncan
A-Z of hotels
Duncan D. Horne recently posted…A-Z April Blog Challenge
I have experienced similar Divine Grace.My wife and myself were waiting at NY airport with buddy passes to go to Miami.For buddy passes,you get accommodation only when seats are vacant.Four or five planes left and the guy at the counter would never even listen to me.Just then a black in airline uniform came to me and asked what the problem was.He asked me to wait and that he would soon take charge of the counter.But when one plane left after he took charge I lost hope.The next one was filled and the door was about to close.”Hey come over quickly” he called.He took the two of us and mumbled something to air hostess and waved his hands at us.The air hostess took us to very comfortable seats side by side possibly in higher class(I forget) to our great surprise.An unknown black in an unknown country manifested suddenly to help.This is nothing but Divine Grace as Patricia Crissafulli puts it.
KP recently posted…The button
Wow! What a feeling it must have been to experience that kind of Grace, Mr.KP! Thank you so much for sharing! And I am happy you came by!
I don’t know why but this reminded me of Amazing Grace…
nabanita recently posted…G is for feeling Gallant
Isnt our life filled with these happy ‘Graces’……from meeting our best friend to our life partners..
Meena Menon recently posted…Gorgeous Nature : Enroute Ooty
“Amen, alright, alright, alright!”
I LOVE!!!!!!! xxx
My Inner Chick recently posted…The Sun Shines Differently Without You
That was my reaction to the post, too, Kim! Love you more than the huge groups of parakeets that flew across the sky today as I watched them!
Vidya Sury recently posted…Grace
Wow! That’s so heartwarming and inspiring! Thanks a lot for sharing the fab 5 tips too! ♥
Shilpa Garg recently posted…G is for Giving
so true!! some times an act of kindness from some one we dont know can make our day!for them it might be a small thing but for someone who is truly in need, that smsll thing can mean a lot 🙂
dropping by from a-z challenge 🙂
What a heartwarming post, Vidya.. Beautiful and thoughtful, and those small reminders and tips I will carry with me from this read. Great visitor you had today:-)
Eli recently posted…G for Golden Temple
Thankful to have stopped by and read this lovely post. It reminded me a bit of the movie Pollyanna. If you go looking for the good, or grace in this case, you will surely find it.
Kathy recently posted…G is for Ghost
Very nice post on Grace! I totally buy into it and trust it. In fact as I mentioned on Suzy Q’s blog, we even named our home “Grace” 🙂
Beloo Mehra recently posted…The Absence
Patricia, Vidya mentioned to me that your book was fabulous and I can see that from this piece here.
I am happy to report that I have seen Grace up close and personal in my life, time and time again. Often grace has saved me from my own stupidity!
Corinne Rodrigues recently posted…Getting Waisted by Monica Parker
To witness grace in action is the most wonderful thing. To be a recipient of that grace is an amazing experience… it has a way of staying with you for a long, long time…
Yes, I agree that nothing attracts grace like simple gratitude.