Grace is born in furrowed brow and wondering hearts and show me signs of love. In the holes in His feet and palms outstretched so I can see them with Thomas. Scars revealed on his side when he pulls up his shirt  and says, “Put your finger here,” so we might believe. (John 20:27)

He rises from the dead and I need signs like Thomas, to believe He loves me this way of grace. Because you can’t know grace when she seals silent in a jar under the mattress of childhood, when love depends on how good you were that day and moods change like a cool breeze on a sticky day.

Tell me you love me and I hear it. Show me you love me and I understand it. And I was told, until the grafting of illustrated grace happened the day I said I do. I’m still trying to receive it.

“I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.” Thomas and I, we say it together. (John 20:25)

I walk on shore of sandy beach under spring’s sunny canopy of surprise. Gritty toes around carnage of flattened jellyfish and wads of stringy lime seaweed, shells that sparkle golden, and birds scurrying stick footed along the lap of shallow roar.  Sitting down on splintered wood of time, I listen to the sea tell her story. Her crashing waves of life, a chorus of joy leaping high in frothy sea spray.

And I hear Him whisper, “I made this for you.”

It’s like someone told me I was walking around with my zipper undone, I can hardly look at the blue-green swells vacant of horizon. The foamy rolls of churning sea beat hard against rocks, push back into the deep and this endless beauty, it’s for me?

Thomas and I, we don’t need to put our finger in the hole in his side anymore. He shows us and we exclaim it together, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28)

Because sometimes understanding grace doesn’t require repentance for our unbelief, or letting go of the guilt about needing signs, we just accept it. Receive it looking at the vastness of the seas and the holes in his hands, knowing He did it all for the love of you and me.

When my mind wearies from the wondering about fine lines, the silence of parents, voices of the future  and the wrecklessness of others, his voice is silent. He stands beside me pointing to the sea and I breathe deep from the wind of understanding.

What is He showing you about grace?

Counting gifts with Ann today, because really, they’re endless joy aren’t they?

for my girl who does the dishes, just because.

making a new recipe together that she picked out.

a quiet walk on the beach with the wind and a camera.

meet-ups after work with friends at the place that makes us feel like we’re in Europe.

a good book and a cup of tea on a quiet porch.

digging in soil, planting new flowers.

the way he smiles after spending time with friends.

words of friend that speak His grace so eloquently.

a few days closer to our trip to England/Scotland for the 22nd year of illustrated grace.

And this, oh my this: Just as I finish this post inspired by my husband’s sermon, I learn that the devotion my daughter read today for her mission’s team meeting, the title is Show, Don’t Tell. Goose bumps here.

Linking with Hear it on Sunday, Use it on Monday, Playdates with God, Miscellany Monday, Just Write, Soli Deo Gloria, On Your Heart Tuesday.