Years ago, when I was pastoring, we had a tradition we called Hugs and Love. We would always start off with a reminder about how God loves us just as we are. Then we would greet each other and tell each other that God loved us just as we were. I remember the first time I opened this tradition as if it were yesterday. I talked about how we were like coffee cups. When you first go to the store to purchase a cup, it is smooth and clean inside. However, over time and use, there are stains which build up and tiny little cracks that sometimes appear and yet we still go back to that cup time after time and accept it just as it is.
I, like others, have found the cup to serve as a powerful symbol for my inner life. I am just a cup. I am nothing special in the sense that I look like all the other cups on the shelf of life. Yet there is something happens within me which is personally transformative. It is what happens when I am filled with the grace of God. It is the filling of my cup with coffee which created the transformation within the cup and it is the filling of me personally with the presence of Spirit which fills me and transforms me from the inside out.
There are important things we can reflect on when we fill our cup. We can remember how generous God is in filling our life with blessings. We can remember all the times we received gifts we did not feel we had earned. We can remember all the times we felt accepted or more than accepted when we were feeling unacceptable. We can remember how our God’s grace is like the never ending cup of coffee or tea; our cups remain filled with the grace of the Divine.
Grace is that simple. It just is. It is the filling and overflowing of our life when we doubt whether we are worthy of having a cup or a bowl or even a tub filled with blessings. We are worthy. Grace is freeing. It means we let go of all that which we ingest that says we are not, makes us feel less than, and replace it with the reminder that God’s love for us is unconditional. It is that simple.
You cannot do anything to earn the grace of the Divine. You do not have to wait for someone to fill your cup, it just gets filled. It’s that simple. So this month, practice being aware of all the times you have experienced grace and practice experiencing it so we may always remember how blessed we are.