After centuries of handling and mishandling, most religious words have become so shopworn nobody’s much interested any more. Not so with grace, for some reason. Mysteriously, even derivates like gracious and graceful still have some of the bloom left. Grace is something you can never get but 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. 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’ll reach out and take it. Maybe being able to reach out and take it is a gift too. LISTENING TO YOUR LIFE!: Daily Meditations with Frederick Buechner, Compiled by George Connor, Harper San Francisco, 1992, pp. 288-289.
The Rev. Dr. Eugene C. Rollins has been the pastor of Liberty Hill Presbyterian Church for more than two decades. He began on May 15, 1984, and celebrated his twenty-fourth anniversary this year (2008). This is his fifth church in 42 years of pastoring. The five churches experienced an average of 180% growth under his leadership. The primary reason has been through creating an attitude of pastoral care of the church and community. For 35 years of the 42 years he has been bivocational or trivocational. He is a state licensed professional counselor and also a licensed supervisor of professional counselors. He is the founder and director of Midlands Area Pastoral Counseling Services, Inc., established 1984. He is a certified supervisor with the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc. and a Diplomat with the College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy, Inc. He holds two South Carolina licenses and nine national certifications