Grace

I have been thinking about grace lately. Not just the Grace God has given me, but also the grace that others have shown me and the grace I need to show others. I want to talk about this in regards to my nurses in particular.

When you have to have someone outside of your family in your house 24/7/365, grace is essential for both parties involved. This is especially true when you depend on the person to do everything for you, including making sure you are breathing.

Maybe I should start by defining what grace is. I am no expert theologian, so this will be very basic.

Grace can be used either as a noun or a verb depending on the context. According to some of Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary’s 17 definitions of grace, it is defined as:

  1. (n.) The exercise of love, kindness, mercy, favor; disposition to benefit or serve another; favor bestowed or privilege conferred.
  2. (n.) The divine favor toward man; the mercy of God, as distinguished from His justice; also, any benefits His mercy imparts; divine love or pardon; a state of acceptance with God; enjoyment of the divine favor.
  3. (n.) The divine favor toward man; the mercy of God, as distinguished from His justice; also, any benefits His mercy imparts; divine love or pardon; a state of acceptance with God; enjoyment of the divine favor.
  4. (v. t.) To dignify or raise by an act of favor; to honor.
  5. (v. t.) To supply with heavenly grace.

I think that before we can show true grace to others we need to appreciate God’s grace towards us. “The divine favor towards man; the mercy of God; a state of acceptance with God”. I realize that the second definition in the previous sentence isn’t technically theologically sound.

grace1

God’s grace is Him giving us what we don’t deserve, while His mercy is Him not giving us what we do deserve. What do I mean by this? According to the Bible we deserve to go to Hell, but because of Jesus’ death on the cross we don’t have to. But at the same time we are made right with God because of that same sacrifice. We have the opportunity to live with Him forever and we have Him to guide us and comfort us through the Holy Spirit.

I don’t know about you, but when I look at all the sinful things I’ve done in my life, I don’t understand why He wants to be with me. He is perfect and holy. I am anything but that.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. – Romans 5:8

I need to remind myself of this truth often. For example, when I first started having trouble with my speech, I wasn’t exactly the nicest person. I became very angry and bitter. I would take it out on those around me, especially my nurses. I’m surprised they didn’t all quit, I would have. One did actually. I can’t say I blame her. Sure, it was and is very frustrating to not be understood. But that didn’t give me the right to take it out on others.

DaffyThankfully God is graceful, otherwise, I probably would have been struck by a lightning bolt. I don’t think extra crispy is a good look on me.The nurses that stayed definitely were being graceful and showed me grace. “The exercise of love, kindness, mercy, favor”. Actually, most nurses, if not all have a “disposition to benefit or serve another”.

But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. – Luke 6:35-36

nurse-word-cloud-750x300Having said that about nurses, I need to talk about how or why I need to show them grace. Some nurses are nothing like the ones described above. Luckily I don’t get too many of them. The nurses I have aren’t terrible. They are pretty good actually, but they are also human.

My nurses usually stay with me for a long time, which is great. The only thing is that after awhile people get too comfortable. They start to forget that they are in someone else’s house. They get complacent, if not lazy.

Tired-NurseFor example, I had to complain to the nursing agency I use because of nurses sleeping. They are my only means to be able to move if I can’t get or stay comfortable. If there is a problem with my ventilator, I need them to be alert enough to realize it and figure out what the problem is. I don’t see how they think they can go from asleep to alert in one second. Let’s just say it makes me feel a little anxious.

There is a problem when the patient can’t get to sleep because the nurse is snoring so loud. If they were working at a hospital or a nursing home they would be out of a job. In most cases simply saying something resolves the issue. If not, they are replaced. This is just one example, but my point here is not to beat up on my nurses, so I’ll only give the one example.

With stuff like this, I am the one who needs to show grace. This doesn’t mean I have to let someone put me in danger, but I do need to show grace and love when handling situations. We are commanded to do this. When Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment is, He replied :

“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” – Mark 12:29-31

If I was one of my nurses, I would want to be given a second chance. If I want others to give me a second chance then I have to do the same.

Cross

I don’t know if you noticed, but one of the definitions of grace is closely tied to love. So, I will end with this well-known passage about love.

4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

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2 thoughts on “Grace

  1. I am just concerned if you have nurses sleeping!! This act can put your life in danger!!

    Changing the way you react to the offense is one thing. Allowing it to continue is another.

    Love that nurse. Give her grace. But make her understand it will not happen again!!

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