Grace - (in Christian belief) the free and unmerited favour of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings.
A gracious favor was done me yesterday by a friend who telephoned to tell me her husband had died that morning.
Learning of Jim’s death in the newspaper would have deepened the sadness of losing a lifetime friend who mentored me during my early twenties, and remained a friend for decades afterward. As time passed the friendship came to include Jim’s wife Sue, and my mother and my wife Barbara. It also came to include Collier, one of their grandsons, and his parents.
Somehow the friendship has gone deep, though for most of the time we have lived in distant cities and have seen one another infrequently.
That is why I use the term “gracious” to describe Sue’s phone call: I can think of nothing which earned me the kind and highly valued gift of hearing from her personally at the time of her loss.
I have no doubt that Jim, Sue, Barbara and I will take up our friendship again in God’s good time. In the meantime, Jim and Sue stand as an example of the grace which friends can bring to one another: free and unmerited favor of the same kind that comes from God.