Sometimes each breath feels such a gift that I can hardly take it in. When setting the table takes me back twenty five years to playing house with plastic and mud and imagining my someday. When grinding pepper into the marinade brings simple delight and the kids outside laugh and run with bare feet and happy. When I realize I’m living the life I always wanted to live. Those times, inhaling the gift of this very life brings even more life.

And there are those other times when the family member calls with shaky voice and says it’s cancer and you want to both reach through the phone with comfort arms and sink under the table at the same time. And you look at those dishes you set the table with just last night and they just look like dishes. And you can’t remember the recipe to the marinade. And the kids are screaming in the backyard and you want to yell, Don’t you know about cancer? If you knew, you would behave! But you don’t yell that, because the fact is, you are so grateful they don’t know about cancer. And you want to protect the innocence of their somedays for as long as you can.

Grace is the arm that extends the gifts of the ordinary, and the same arm that holds you tight when you hear the news. This grace gift is undeserved and extravagant. And you realize that cancer and ground pepper and bare feet are all a part of this mosaic life. It wasn’t meant to be this way but it is, and we live it, every breathe we get. Because of grace.