Grits and Grace for the Journey

Quincy Brown


Once a month, when I attend cabinet meetings at the Conference Office, several of the cabinet members have breakfast at Waffle House.  Our monthly Waffle House breakfast is something that I look forward to attending. For many, Waffle House is comfort breakfast food. For me, it reminds me of my Daddy who loved Waffle House! 
Before he had severe health challenges and confined to a nursing home, he went there every day.  He was a local celebrity to the Waffle House and had his booth and his sandwich—the "Q Special." My standard is scrambled eggs with cheese and a cup of tea. On occasion, he would vary from the “Q Special” and order a regular breakfast. 
He always got country ham and eggs cooked sunny-side up with several cups of coffee.  He got upset, however, when the waitress would bring his meal with a side of grits.  Once when this happened, he complained to the waitress saying, "Hey, M ‘am, I didn't order grits."  The waitresses responded, "It doesn't matter.  Grits come with every meal here at Waffle House.  They're like grace, and they come whether you ask for them or not!"
While Daddy didn't see grits the way that the waitress did, I believe she was right on about grace.  Grace is a shorthand way of speaking of the incredible love of God.  John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, understood grace as God's mercy that comes to us, even though we do not deserve it.  It is a gift.
Like receiving an unexpected present from our grandparents on Christmas morning, we are often surprised by grace.  When we receive such a gift, our natural response is to feel guilty since we do not have a gift to give in return.  But like the Christmas gift, grace is carried out of love, and we are invited to receive it with no strings attached.
Are there ways where you can be an agent of grace and surprisingly show up where you're unexpected? Are there places in your life where you need a side order of grace?

On the Journey,

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