August 20

Written by Bill Grandi on August 20th, 2019

My title for this devotion is Touched by Grace vs Touched by Ugliness.

How do I, how do you, respond to hurt? Whether that hurt is real or perceived, intentional or not, how do I/you respond? Do we allow our lives to be touched by grace or ugliness?

I was reading this morning from Our Daily Bread. The author refers to Leif Enger’s novel Peace Like a River in which Jeremiah Land is a single father of 3 working as a janitor at a local school. He is also a man of deep, sometimes miraculous, faith. Throughout the book, his faith is often tested.

Jeremiah’s school is run by Charles Holden, a mean-spirit superintendent with a skin condition.  Despite Jeremiah’s excellent work ethic-mopping up a sewage spill without complaint, picking up broken bottles the super smashed-Holden wants him gone. One day, in front of all the students, he accuses Jeremiah of drunkenness and fires him. It’s a humiliating scene.

How does Jeremiah respond? If he lived today, he’s sue the pants off him.  He would claim some type of abuse or phobia or discrimination. Instead, Jeremiah looks at Holden for a moment, then reaches up and touches his face. Holden steps back defensively, then feels his chin and cheek in wonder. His scarred skin has been healed.

If I had been Jeremiah how would I have reacted? Would I have acted as though my life has been touched by grace or touched by ugliness? Would I have done as Jeremiah did or would I have done what was expected by the multitude?

“Father, may my life today be touched by grace not ugliness. As you have exhibited grace to me, may I do the same to others.”


Your prayers would be appreciated this morning or today, for that matter. One of our young mothers is having knee reconstruction surgery for a torn ACL and whatever else they find when they get in there. I will be with her and the family this morning after I leave here (the office). Thanks…no matter what time you read this. I’m sure Shelby, her husband, Nikk, and the family would appreciate your prayers.


9 Comments so far ↓

  1. Ryan S. says:

    Seeing and responding to people how God sees and responds to people… A sign of a mature Christian… I have slot more maturing to do!

    Praying the surgery goes well, for a speedy recovery, and for the family!

    • Bill Grandi says:

      I do as well Ryan. You’d think as old as I am that I would have learned. hard nuts are hard to crack. :0 Thanks for the comment and the prayer.

  2. Ed says:

    It would be pretty hard for me, if I were in Mr. Holden’s place, not to change my attitude. I mean, I know how it is to be touched by grace, love, and kindness (and a bit of humility thrown in I’m sure).
    Praying for Shelby!

  3. Glynn says:

    Peace Like a River is a beautiful book.

    Praying for the young mother’s surgery – that it be successful.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Thanks for the comment Glynn. I’ll have to check with the local library. And thanks for the prayers.

  4. What an inspirational story, Bill! I’ll have to read that book.
    Yes, I’ll be praying for Shelby and her family.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      You and me both Martha. I’ll check the local library first. If not, then Amazon here I come!

  5. floyd says:

    😒 My pride would first seek justice instead of the mercy I too have been granted.

    That’ll preach, brother.