Oily Grace


Blog post titles are so hard for me.
Here’s a confession.
Oily Grace” is my version of clickbait.

Unfortunately it sounds like the name of a slimy gang member’s repellent girlfriend.

That is not what I’m writing about, although gang members and their girlfriends need grace.
My focus isn’t even how much I need grace.
I know.
I’ve got grace. By the bucketfuls.

God rains grace on me. I’m forgiven, justified, in the process of being sanctified, someday to be glorified. All showered on me by grace.

It’s the giving of grace to others that I struggle with.
You’d think someone drenched in it would be able to give big ol’ soggy grace hugs to others.
But no.
Grace pours over me, refreshes and rehydrates me. And then it seems to dry up before I can extend it.

I could swear I’m made of microfiber.

Here’s what a Christian like me needs.
Oily grace.
The kind that doesn’t absorb right away.
I need the kind of grace that will drip off from me onto others.
So anyone who gets close to me can’t help but walk away soothed and softened by
the essential oil of grace that I have in abundance. So I leave footprints and fingerprints of grace everywhere I go and on everything I touch.

Not that I haven’t been known to extend grace. And to gracious people, it is SO EASY to give. It’s trying to grant grace to everyone else that dries me up like a potato chip.
By ‘everyone else’ I mean all humans from the ungracious, nasty types to the person in front of me in the checkout lane. Whose sole fault is that they are in front of me in the checkout lane.

One of my favorite hymns starts like this:
“Gracious Spirit, dwell with me, I myself would gracious be;”
It’s a favorite not so much because of the tune or great poetic phrases.
It is my heart’s cry.
And yet every day—EVERY DAY—I grasp more grace for myself than I spare for others.

This is getting old. I’m getting old.
And I don’t want to be one of those greedy, grasping old women who behave as though grace were so limited it needs to be hoarded and stockpiled and hidden.

Lord, let me ooze grace. Let me shine with it. Let them smell me coming a mile away.
Let my oily grace be a sweet aroma, let it improve flavor, let it make hurts slide off me, let it give light and energy and let it reflect and refract your iridescence.

I’m too self-absorbent for grace like rain, dear Lord. Give me oily grace, please.

6 thoughts on “Oily Grace

  1. Oh, sigh…I know. It’s hard to love the unlovable, get off my keister when I don’t feel like it, be nice if someone hasn’t been nice to me…essentially, care. And the older I get the less energy I have to muster…well, anything.

    So, is God’s grace wasted on the likes of me? I hope not. He says not. The longer I’ve been a Christian the more I know it’s true—we all fall short, and God’s love and grace is absolutely, unbelievably, can’t find human words for it, AMAZING!

    • Absolutely the best word to attempt to describe it. And thankfully, in spite of my miserliness, God doesn’t take His grace from me. It does take energy to pass it along though. Another lovely word. Energy.

  2. I’ve had similar thoughts lately. It’s so nice to receive grace, and yet somehow so difficult to extend it! Thank you for expressing this.

  3. What a convicting piece! Oh my, I am definitely guilty of lacking “oily grace.” God’s grace is lavish, and I squander it. Thank you for the reminder that we should be lavish, too. There’s no such thing as wasting grace. I certainly can’t wait around until people are “worthy” of it — since I’m not worthy myself.

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