mercy & grace

i read a quote the other day that i want to share with ya’ll.

the difference between mercy & grace?

mercy gave the prodigal son a second chance. grace gave him a feast.

i think back over the times in my life when someone has responded to me with mercy and how i felt forgiven. i felt all better. ready to pick up and move on.

but the times when someone has extended grace? well now that is a humbling place to be. grace leaves me shaking my head. feeling more comfortable in my remorse than in the place of grace. grace reaches out and finds us when we’re sitting in the corner of failure with our head down, covered and ashamed. grace sits down with us. doesn’t judge us. or shake it’s finger. it just wraps it’s arm around us & says its okay. its all okay.

recently i apologized for a joke made in poor taste. i was wrong and shouldn’t have said it. i thought i was being funny and honestly wouldn’t have thought another thing about it…until i received an email from the person whom i offended. ( see prior post or open hyperlink to follow along). her husband is indeed a convicted felon. he committed a crime when he was 17. he spent the next 18 years in prison.  turns out he came to know the lord while he was incarcerated.

well of course he did.

because jesus came so that we may have life and have it fully. all of us have sin in our lives, but to him who has known in his heart …and for all the world to see…for all the world to see “that sin”-that man knows mercy. and that man clearly knows grace. he wears it like a soilder might wear a battle wound or a medal of honor. he wears it like the wrinkled and callused hands of a man who has labored all his life. that grace is a like a crown on his head…that he never felt worthy of wearing.

so back to the email. i was checking my emails from my iphone and as i read this i truly felt that nauseating feeling when your stomach drops and you know you have hurt someone. intentional. carelessly? it doesn’t really matter. the hurt is there. at the bottom of the email was this person’s stationary. you know like the information that autopopulates. well. i immediately clicked on her phone number. i explained who i was and offered no explanation other than i was very wrong. she graciously gave me mercy and very warmly offered grace on top of the mercy. i wept at the redlight. i came home and offered up an apology on social media. the same platform that i carelessly used to crack a joke.

within minutes i received a facebook friend request from her. and she told me she was honored to be my friend.

she forgave me. that was mercy. she told me she was honored to call me friend.  that is grace.

i don’t tell you this to make me sound good. clearly. public humiliation and a public screw up is enough to remind me that i need HIM~every single day. and one of the amazing, i -can’t-wrap-my-mind-around-it things about jesus is he gives new mercies everyday. they’re just as new this morning as the sunrise that i’ll see in about an hour. whether i carelessly use the express lane with too many items. or forget to call a friend back or i make a comment that makes me look like the person i don’t want to be. there’s mercy and then He tops that with grace.

i felt HIM today after all this. i did. i felt HIM in my reader’s sweet gracefilled forgiveness. i felt HIM as i laid my head on my desk and cried…and then again when my silly friend called and shared with me how she screwed up too…and i felt HIM tell me not to be bound up feeling all warm and stale in my self-pity and yuckiness.

bound up in shackles of failures is a prison of my own.

my readers husband is no longer who he used to be. he still feels the sting of that title. but for each of us…it’s just the same. while i’m doubting many of us have a brick and mortar prison record, we can spend many days bound up in our chains. we have a new name. a new life. and we’re not the same. we are redeemed…we’ve been set free. and mercy & grace are right there to walk us away from those prison walls…and into the life He came and already paid the price for.

 

a while ago i posted about one of my all time favorite songs, redeemed by big daddy weave. i love the healing power that music provides. so i’m gonna do two things. one related to this post and one probably not so much.  here’s redeemed for you. the lyrics are some of the most powerful i’ve ever heard and truly touch me each time i listen.

secondly. i ran across this video last week. being a lover of classic rock, i was blown away by ann & nancy wilson’s tribute to led zeppelin. i love watching robert plant being moved to tears. i love watching jimmy page literally beaming! so while this has nothing to do with grace & mercy it has everything to do with the power of music and this transcendent performance. enjoy.

and thank you for forgiving me and then for those of you who went above & beyond and met me where i was….and offered grace. you know who you are. and i love you.

and today, 9.11,  i am forever grateful for the heroes , the countless heroes we have in America. for the countless heroes that gave their lives on this day and for the resiliency of  our country.  the land of the free. i am proud to be an American.

God bless America.

September 11, 2013 - 8:28 am

Kerri - Sweet friend, I am going to leave you with one quick quote: “YOU ARE LOVED!” XOXO

September 11, 2013 - 10:09 am

amanda - Paige, thank you again for who you are and for what you share with us. I have to say though that I was a little confused at the start of today’s post. At first I thought you were saying that you had a friend whose husband was a convicted felon, and you felt horrible about offending her (in which case, not good)…but, then I realized you were referring to having offended a reader (a stranger) by your joking comment. My question to you is..how in the world would you have known that one of your readers has a husband who was a convicted felon?? You can’t be so hard on yourself. It was a totally logical, offhanded jokey comment. My goodness you had your address right there for everyone to see! Anyone giving out their address on the internet would feel the same way…hoping that some crazy person wouldn’t see it. It’s beautiful the way you handled the reader’s email about being offended, and I can understand how she might have felt, but it’s actually really sad that we all have to be so so careful about everything we say, every offhanded comment, every joke…because we might offend someone. I am the last person, ever, who wants to hurt anyone or make them feel bad. And, anyone who knows you knows that you would never hurt anyone intentionally. It just makes me feel bad that you had to take your reader’s email so personally, and I want to give you grace and tell you to cut yourself some slack…the comment was a completely understandable, logical jokey comment.

September 11, 2013 - 11:42 am

Mimi - Beautifully written, beautifully said and felt. Blessings : )

September 11, 2013 - 1:39 pm

chrissi - paige, each time i visit your page i leave feeling lighter. you often touch my heart with your precious photos or you brighten my day with bits of whimsy. more often i feel as if you speak to my very soul with your words. mercy and grace. still catching my breath♥

September 11, 2013 - 2:53 pm

Shelley - Thank you Paige, for your tender honesty and the beauty of your thoughts. God bless you.

September 11, 2013 - 3:36 pm

Beth - Paige,
Your post today gave me a lot to think about. Not so much the mercy vs grace, but the public apology part. A few months ago I sent you an email that caused a great deal of backlash towards me from your readers. I had questioned things about you, your motives, and your values. I made assumptions about you without knowing anything about you. Just as you felt the need to publicly apologize today, I want to apologize to you. I was wrong for making judgments about you. I was wrong for taking things out of context in your blog and seeing things the way I wanted to see them. Most of all, I was wrong for hurting you and possibly making you doubt yourself in any way. I have not felt good about sending that email to you. It was not characteristic of the person I am, and I don’t honestly know why I felt the need to send it to you that day. Maybe it’s wrapped up in mt own insecurities and shortcomings. Either way, I’m not asking you for grace or mercy although I’m sure you are quite capable of showing it. I just want to apologize to you. Thanks for your post today..

September 11, 2013 - 4:19 pm

Sarah L. - We all will stumble & we all will fall. All of us every single person. We will do things we know before we start that we shouldn’t & we will do things that afterwards we realize whether on our own or through another that we messed up, we made a bad choice etc. Yes, it is his his mercy & grace that get’s us through it all, along with the mercy & grace of others that is extend to us. Probably because He is using them for just that purpose.

Thankfully in the end we are better for these types of experiences.

I was about to write a blog post in your comments. Instead I decided to post it on my blog about a few experience with grace & mercy that are very dear to me.

Blessings to you Paige!

September 11, 2013 - 5:44 pm

Shelly - Wow. I came on here to commend you, Paige, on your apology, and then read Beth’s to you…(I think I’ve guess which post Beth is referring to), and so now I want to commend Beth as well. Paige, whether or not it was necessary for you to apologize for your comment, the fact is–you “felt” wrong about it, you put yourself in your friend’s place, you thought about Jesus, and you did what you felt you should–made a public apology. That ministered to Beth, who hurt your feelings some weeks ago. Then Beth made a public apology. Bless you, Beth! I hurt a friend’s feelings today because I gave an honest opinion–in looking back I should have said it differently (or not at all). I think this is Jesus working in all of us.

September 11, 2013 - 6:58 pm

Dina - Me too Wow! I am so impressed with what Paige and Beth have said. Thanks for sharing your hearts 🙂

September 11, 2013 - 8:57 pm

Destiny - I’m loving the comments as much as the post!

“When the hand is open to give, it is open to receive.”

Whether it be an act, deed, word, grace or mercy… May God bless and keep us all as we grow in Him, for our good and His glory!

September 11, 2013 - 9:19 pm

Leila - Hi Paige,
I’ve never commented before but have been reading your beautiful blog for quite some time. I love to see how similar, and at the same time different, your life is from my own, as I live in a small country town in Australia. I have a teenage daughter as well as two smaller boys, so love hearing about your girls. I was wondering if Noonday was only in the US? I love the background behind the business. Looking at all the lovelies, I don’t think there is anything similar here. Maybe you should lead the charge to expand? 🙂
Leila

September 11, 2013 - 9:43 pm

Tracey - Leila – I moved to Australia at the end of January and asked Paige the same thing when they had the special going on to add ambassadors. Noonday– there could be 2 people in Australia and I’m sure many more!!

September 11, 2013 - 10:42 pm

Lori - Thank you for this wonderful picture of a humble, contrite heart—– may we all seek that spirit—-all because of Him!
Btw, my sweet husband went with me to see Heart last month here in Kansas City—opening band was the Led Zeppelin Experience, with Jon Bonham’s son, Jason. It was amazing—and they performed the last four or so songs together—outdoor theatre— magic

September 12, 2013 - 12:47 am

Yolanda McLean - Paige, This post is beautiful. My husband enjoyed it too. Thank you, sweet friend.

September 12, 2013 - 10:06 am

D'Nese - When you initially posted about your joke I went back to look and see what it was. I still have yet to find it. Maybe it was way over my head? I haven’t a clue, but I know that it takes a VERY strong person to come out and admit what you did and go above and beyond and reach out to this new friend. You’re such an amazing person, Paige. I’m glad she has forgiven you and I hope that you have forgave your self.
By the way, I love that song , Redemption. I first heard it here when you posted it and I fell in love. It’s AMAZING! Thanks for sharing again. I needed to hear it.

September 12, 2013 - 10:09 am

D'Nese - And I want to say what “Beth” said in her comment was amazing. You go, girl! That was very powerful of you. Such an amazing post/comment in so many ways for everyone. Wow!

September 12, 2013 - 11:32 am

Lemonade Makin' Mama - You are so precious. I have missed a bunch again. Life… keeps getting in the way of my blog reading. 🙂

September 12, 2013 - 4:38 pm

Kitty - Paige, I adore your tenderness, your honesty, and that you wear your heart on your sleeve. Thank you for being you!

September 12, 2013 - 8:28 pm

Suzanne - Mercy and grace. Those are words
that have been swirling through my
brain as my bestie is dying. When she
was first diagnosed with the fact that
her breast cancer had metastasized,
I sent her a Lisa Leonard necklace that
reads, “By Grace Alone.” She cried when
she opened the box and she wore it
every single day until hospice suggested
that she shouldn’t wear jewelry, now.

Mercy and grace. It was so hard to see
either when I drove to Chicago to be
with my friend, last weekend. I just hope
her 14 and 16 year old DO feel it and
will continue to be faithful, just as their
sweet momma is.

You, my friend, are the epitome of grace
and strength. To pick up your cell phone
and call like that is not something most
would do. Although that’s a different kind
of grace, it is brave, nonetheless.

Love and hugs,
xo Suzanne

September 12, 2013 - 10:07 pm

Lori H - Thanks for sharing “Redeemed” with us, Paige. It gave me shivers. I admire your bravery in apologizing to your reader.

September 13, 2013 - 2:47 pm

patty - powerful.

every.
last.
bit.

{{H}}

September 15, 2013 - 7:21 am

tara - mercy and grace.
mercy gives a second chance and grace gives a feast.
never thought about it like that, but it’s so true.

my mouth gets me in trouble sometimes…and you know me in real life, so I’m sure you are not surprised. 🙂 my poor seth struggles with the same mouth problem. remember when he called me a hussie? oh lord, help us all!

if it helps at all, i would have said the same thing, if i had given out my address.
thankful the reader offered mercy & grace to you….

September 18, 2013 - 10:53 pm

Kim - Wise wonderful brave humble inspiring godly…YOU are all those things and more! Thank you for walking the walk in your most human and beautiful way. You have no idea how many others you are helping to do the same.