Just as you are receiving this message in your inbox this morning, I too have signed up for specific mailers. One of these is a daily mailer from the Frederick Buechner Institute. I love the way that Fred writes. It is difficult for me to describe. His writings are not for everyone, but they are for many.

However, on this particular day, when I opened my Inbox I felt peckish and had a desire to unsubscribe, because honestly, I don’t read the email from Fred every day… possibly 2/7 days a week I read his entries.

So, as many of you do as well, I scrolled down to the end of the post looking for the ‘Unsubscribe’ option. I did not find it – but instead saw ‘Manage your subscription’. I am not sure if it was because of the extra effort it took to ‘manage’ rather than ‘unsubscribe’ but it made me hesitate and read the post.

The post was on the act of receiving grace. And it turns out it was exactly what I needed to read that morning. Of all his entries, this one definitely ranked up as the top 10 for me.

One last comment on ‘stopping before you start’. I intentionally try to remain open-minded for many reasons. I love to discover ‘what might be’ if I continue to listen to a podcast or audiobook chapter that at the beginning, is not that engaging. The same is true whether I am trying to get through a boring chapter of a book, or opening up a mailer in my inbox.

I would say that this open-mindedness has served me well more than not.

Here is the entry

Grace is something you can never get but can only be given. There’s no way to earn it or deserve it or bring it about any more than you can deserve the taste of raspberries and cream or earn good looks or bring about your own birth.

A good sleep is grace and so are good dreams. Most tears are grace. The smell of rain is grace. Somebody loving you is grace. Loving somebody is grace. Have you ever tried to love somebody?

A crucial eccentricity of the Christian faith is the assertion that people are saved by grace. There’s nothing you have to do. There’s nothing you have to do. There’s nothing you have to do.

The grace of God means something like: “Here is your life. You might never have been, but you are, because the party wouldn’t have been complete without you. Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid. I am with you. Nothing can ever separate us. It’s for you I created the universe. I love you.”

There’s only one catch. Like any other gift, the gift of grace can be yours only if you reach out and take it.

Maybe being able to reach out and take it is a gift too.

-Originally published in Wishful Thinking and later in Beyond Words