Tuesday, June 16, 2015

G is for GROUT

I am an HGTV semi-addict. I love Flip or Flop, Fixer Upper, House Hunters (domestic and international), Property Brothers, and Love it or List It. Oh, and don’t forget Beach Front Bargain Hunt. Don’t invite me to your home, because I’ll probably estimate the square footage and evaluate everything else: the closet space, the master en suite, the kitchen cupboards, the countertops.

And every day I hopelessly hope one or two of those HGTV stars will come to my house and gut it and then make it amazingly amazing.

Bucket o' grout
Yes, please.
All that just to tell you I’ve seen my share of grout, although I haven’t actually worked with it. Grout is, according to www.dictionary.com, “a thin, coarse mortar poured into various narrow cavities, as masonry joints or rock fissures, to fill them and consolidate the adjoining objects into a solid mass.”** Exactly. It’s what Jonathan Scott spreads across all that subway tile he keeps putting in everyone’s kitchen. When he comes to my house, he’s going to have to push the grout into the little spaces between the square colored glass tiles. I don’t care for subway tile. Who wants to eat in a subway? A Subway, yes. A subway, no.

 G is also for GRACE.

I think grace is like grout, and not just because they both start with “gr.” Just like grout holds together a lot of disjointed tiles and makes them into a beautiful pattern, grace holds together the disjointed pieces and even splintered shards of me and makes me into a beautiful person. (Caveat:  It’s a process!)

What is grace, anyway? There are more Google results for definitions of grace than hymns about grace, and that’s saying a lot. You can read about grace’s linguistic origins in Hebrew and Greek—hesed and xaris—and lots of technical articles with many quoted scripture verses.

A simple definition I heard decades ago uses an acrostic:

G         God’s
R         riches
A         at
C         Christ’s
E          Expense

Simple, but not too shabby. By his death and resurrection, Jesus Christ paid the bill for me to receive God’s extravagant favor. Now the Lord continues to carefully choose (and purposefully lose) pieces and remake me, grouted with grace.

Here’s my prayer for you today and every day: May you be grouted with grace.

**An archaic definition of grout is “coarse meal or porridge,” but let’s not discuss my cooking.

1 comment:

  1. "Q: What's the difference between grace and mercy?

    A: Grace goes beyond mercy. Mercy gave the prodigal son a second chance. Grace threw him a party. Mercy prompted the Samaritan to bandage the wounds of the victim. Grace prompted him to leave his credit card as payment for the victim's care. Mercy forgave the thief on the cross. Grace escorted him into paradise. Mercy pardons us. Grace woos and weds us."

    That's from the article by Max Lucad.