A Call for Grace

Living Room
“If he saw it, he didn’t let on.”
I recently read that line in a book and immediately burst into tears. I wasn’t surprised by my reaction though; lines like that always get to me. I’ve always felt that it was an unexplainable feeling. Almost as if I was being subconsciously reminded of an event from a past life, or a forgotten trauma that had lain dormant in the back of my mind.
“If she heard me stumble my words, I couldn’t tell”
It keeps happening. I can’t escape those lines. So I figure I should at least try to explain the unexplainable.
When I read those words, they consume my entire being. In that moment, I can hear every mispronounced word that was brought to my attention, every mistake that was corrected, and every slip that almost went undetected.  I’m transported back to one point in time that somehow consists of every moment that made me feel inadequate.
When I hear someone correct another person’s grammar, offer unsolicited advice, or attract attention to someone who has just fallen, my first response is always the same.

“Why?”

I know the answer to that question, but each time I witness moments like this, I can’t help but to wonder. I know the answer is that some people feel small. That humiliating and drawing attention to another person’s flaws makes some people feel as though, for that moment, their own flaws are less noticeable and in some cases nonexistent. I bet that feels good to have a completely confident and self-assured moment. A moment when you feel smart and capable, even if it is at the expense of someone else.
In those moments it’s easy to come up with a believable excuse too. “I was just trying to help. I don’t want them to embarrass themselves in front of someone else,” is a common defense.  Sometimes I almost believe them and their story of how they were just trying to be a good friend. But then I look into the eyes of the person who has just made to feel less than and I’m reminded that a good friend knows when to be right and when to show grace.
People fail.  People stumble.  People make mistakes.  Noticing is easy. But what if you tried not to notice? What if you decide that you don’t have to correct or fix someone else? What if you decide to give up your moment in order to preserve theirs? Lose your moment of complete self-assurance for their moment of peace of mind. It’s a selfless act that really requires little effort, but it means so much.
I’ve always been drawn to those who have the strength to be gracious. The ones who continue nodding in agreement when you stutter on a word. The ones who don’t break stride when you trip over a crack in the sidewalk. The ones who, if they saw it, they didn’t let on.

 

People fail people stumble people make mistakes

 

 

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36 Responses

  1. Everyone makes mistakes and that is part of life. Sometimes I help when I can and other times I let people figure it out on their own.

  2. I think the same courtesy can be applied when dealing with toddlers. Patience is key!

  3. I have fallen more times than I care to admit, but i have learned that my falls have only made me stronger in the long run

  4. I think we need to learn to find the balance between the two. Being gracious is a lost art, to be sure, and sorely lacking in our society. But something else that is lacking is being able to be corrected without taking it as a personal assault. I know for me, if someone corrects me in love I feel far more cared for than someone who lets me continue looking like a fool. Love tells the truth, wants what is best for the other person.

  5. Making mistakes or falling or stumbling or even “failing” doesnt mean you are done. Its all about taking those next steps and being resilient. Gotta keep on…

  6. I am going to have to think about this. I have always felt that if someone makes a mistake that they need your help and you should acknowledge that. Hmmm…maybe I am wrong here…

  7. A wise woman once told me “Never miss a moment to stay silent” Correcting a friend outside something that could be life altering is one of those times. Beautifully written….

  8. I can understand why some sentences just make you cry! Sometimes you just read exactly the words you’ve been feeling and it dawns on you that they are true! I’ve felt these before and admit that these experiences have made me who I am and I’m not sure that if I could reverse time, that I would’ve done anything different.

  9. What if you decide that everyone makes mistakes and it’s not a big deal? I love being understanding and supporting people.

  10. All those falls make you stronger, smarter, and sometimes braver depending on what they pertain too.

  11. People are people. I try to always remember that. And also, kindness always wins out in the end…right?

  12. I definitely think there needs to be a balance between not saying anything and offering help. If someone needs help, then you offer it, but it needs to be done with the right attitude and with grace. I know if I was mispronouncing or misspelling something, I would want someone to correct me, but I would want it to be done in a kind manner.

  13. Patience is such a hard thing to learn and I think can be applied to teenagers too!

  14. I used to get really embarrassed when people would correct my Portuguese and get defensive. My aunty on the other hand will ask me for verification if she is saying a word wrong or not using it in the right context.

  15. Making mistakes is human. I agree we don’t always have to correct people.

  16. Oh this is so interesting. I think as humans we have an innate desire to fix things. That includes people. However I do believe some lessons need to be learned naturally not taught. Knowing which situations this applies to is the tricky part.

  17. Such a touching post – everyone makes mistakes it’s just important for us to try our hardest not to and that should be enough x

  18. We are only human; everyone makes mistakes and that is part of life. And that is how we learn and grow into a better person that we are right now.

    Everyone makes mistakes and that is part of life.

  19. The times I have fallen I definitely remember because I really try to learn from my past mistakes. I know falling is a part of life and that is okay.

  20. Everyone falls, everyone fails and makes mistakes….Our character is marked by how we pick ourselves back up and move on.

  21. First of all, I love the title! “Noticing is easy. But what if you tried not to notice?” The real challenge is trying to ignore to correct someone even if they make mistake, but again life needs to be balanced. Some mistake needs to be corrected and some need just to let go.

  22. I try to always learn from my mistakes. As hard as it is, I know that everything happens for a reason.

  23. As a military wife who could barely handle her busy schedule I am truly glad I came across your post. I totally agree that everyone makes mistakes. No one is perfect. And if you dont have anything good to say, don’t say anything at all 🙂

  24. Everyone makes mistakes and as human we should be more forgiving. Things happen we shouldnt hold too many grudges with each other.

  25. yes. everyone do makes mistake. and the Lord knows it. that is why we need the Christ Atonement for us to receive grace and be forgiven.

  26. Reesa Lewandowski

    I feel like as humans we are perfectionists and have such a hard time admitting and dealing with our mistakes. Accepting grace is so hard, but when you do it’s like a weight is lifted off of your shoulders!!

  27. I’ve failed so much and also it doesn’t bother me, I really appreciate when people don’t point out my failings or make a big fuss. I hate it when people try and highlight all of my mistakes and dismiss all of the positive things.

  28. This was really great food for thought. It can be so easy to strike someone when they’re down or rub their face in their downfalls but it takes real strength not even notice.

  29. Wow, what an interesting perspective on mistakes. I try my best to not be so critical with mine and others- this is a great reminder for this.

  30. Making mistakes is certainly a part of life. What really matters is what you learn from these mistakes and how you move forward from then on.

  31. If only everyone could admit that we all make mistakes and help people through mistakes the best way for that individual.

  32. Being selfless while maintaining a strong character is truly amazing, and thankfully, I know people who are like that. That little line “a good friend knows when to be right and when to show grace” just pretty much answered all the questions. So well written. Thanks for sharing <3
    xox Nadia
    http://www.mielandmint.com

  33. Oh wow. Those moments are so powerful. The moment you can let your guard down fully because you’re confident in who you are.

  34. This is a beautiful post. I’ve always loved those sort of sentiments in books too, but much more in life. More of it is needed.

  35. I think it is so important to give grace to ourselves and to others. I have been trying to practice this. So often I overthink and over analyze everything, but we are all just trying to live our lives!

  36. “I’ve always been drawn to those who have the strength to be gracious. The ones who continue nodding in agreement when you stutter on a word. The ones who don’t break stride when you trip over a crack in the sidewalk. The ones who, if they saw it, they didn’t let on.”

    This. This x 100. You have such a way with words – what a beautiful post.

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