Growing Grace

The Road Warrior

600 Miles of Boot Camp
Last week over at The High Calling, Duane Scott blogged about his wife’s amazing display of grace when a brand new, much-desired chair was destroyed before it ever made its way into their home.

Duane’s brother volunteered to bring their dad’s truck over to retrieve the furniture. It seems Duane’s brother forgot the tie-down straps and the furniture store only offered thin, waxy twine to secure the load in their pickup truck. On the drive home, the chair was tossed overboard and broken.

Duane’s wife bore the loss without uttering a single unkind word to her husband. It’s a lovely story of grace and forgiveness. After reading Duane’s tale, I posted this comment:

“When I grow up I want to give that kind of grace. Thanks for sharing a wonderful story.”

Later that day, my husband was replacing the brake pads on our car because we were leaving that evening on a road trip. We’d planned a leisurely, nine-day vacation, visiting with friends and family as we made our way north to enjoy some quiet time alone together along California’s stunning Mendocino Coast. Our destination lay just over 600 miles from home as we set out that evening.

We had not gone far up the freeway when a tortuous squeal began to rise from the driver’s side of the car. Imagine a six-year-old girl who’s just been told she’s going to Disneyland, squealing for joy. With seven of her friends. In a tunnel. I’ve never been subjected to such a noise, but I imagine it would approximate the sound assaulting us as we made our way up the road.

Rich groaned. “What’s wrong?” I asked.

“I forgot to replace the anti-squeal plate on the front brake,” he told me. “I was afraid we might get some noise.”

I opened my mouth to speak, then closed it again, as I realized that the words about to make their way past my lips contained no grace at all.

Fact about me: If tolerance for ambient noise were scaled from one to ten, I would score a zero. I’ve been known to flee a room rather than endure an irritating noise.

And we had 600 miles ahead of us. And 600 miles home. And all the day trips we’d take along the way. And one very squeaky wheel.

I thought about Duane’s wife and her display of grace when her brand-new chair was busted to bits before it even crossed the threshold of their home. I remembered my comment, in which I claimed to desire that kind of graciousness.

And I bit my tongue.

I think asking for grace may be like praying for patience. It’s dangerous.

 12For our proud confidence is this: the testimony of our conscience, that in holiness and godly sincerity, not in fleshly wisdom but in the grace of God, we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially toward you.
2 Corinthans 1:12 (NASB)


  1. Lord … Please give me patience … quick.
    Sheila, being an old mechanic, I really identified with this post.

  2. Red…Former mechanic. We shy away from the "o" word around here 🙂 Thanks for your comment!

  3. Well, it could have been worse, it could have actually BEEN a six year old girl! (spoken by someone with 5 sons in the family whose wife said 'no more' when she goofed and the 6th was a girl!).

    Rich is a fortunate man!

  4. It's been a long, long time since we've taken a road trip with a six year old. 🙂

  5. I *love* that the story of Duane's wife and the chair stuck with you so much that God could bring it to mind to help you respond with grace!

    But, yikes, that's like driving with continuous fingernails-down-a-chalkboard.

  6. That story of Duane's is really sticky! Fortunately, as it happens, the squeal has been intermittent. We return home today and will have logged 2000 miles on this road trip. I think I might be in an institution by this point if the squeal had been nonstop!

  7. Way to go, Sheila!

  8. Thanks, Sam. Nice of you to drop by!