Grace in the Library

I’m going to spend some time musing on various segments of the definition of grace.

Merriam-Webster’s #1: unmerited divine assistance given to humans for their regeneration or sanctification

Last year I went into the public library to settle up–because the system had frozen my card. I checked in all the checked-out books piled up at home, and the total fine was about $73. (In my defense, I teach a course on writing picture books, so I borrow in bulk.) Yikes!

In the past, I’ve had some luck with the puppy eyes, prevailing upon librarians to forgive a few fines. But not $73 worth. Still, I had to try. I told my teacherly sob story, rightly placing all the blame on myself for ignoring the overdue notices in my email.

The librarian expunged my record of shame. But she wrapped the gift in a reprimand. “The thing about grace,” she said, “is that it’s so often undeserved.”

Not just unmerited, but undeserved. That’s what makes grace amazing.

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