Learning Grace : Thursday Thoughts
     Phillips Memorial Baptist Church

Phillips Memorial Baptist Church
565 Pontiac Avenue
Cranston, Rhode Island  02910



Rev. Dr. Amy Chilton: phillipsmemorialpastor@gmail.com

  Pastor Amy's Thursday Thoughts

Learning Grace

by Rev. Dr. Amy Chilton on 09/13/23

The preschool children are back in the building at Little Shepherd and the Associate Pawster is very excited that recess is back in session! She’s not so excited that she has to give the new littles time to acclimate to her size and energy. All people are Pawster Daisy’s friends - and doubly so if they have treats! But, she and they have to learn to co-exist, and then to enjoy each other. It will happen, of that I’m sure.

When we popped in today to greet the cutest line of preschoolers, one little guy whom I had just met made sure to tell me that “she hit” him. I’m not entirely sure if the “she” was the little girl in line in front of him or if “she” was Daisy’s swishing tail. Certainly I hadn’t witnessed anything, but he was quite serious.

Think back to your own younger years - I’m sure you remember having to learn to forgive or to say you were hurt. Probably not so hard to remember since most of us are still working on these things today!

As our children spend their days learning grace, resilience, and courage, let them remind all of us that we are all still on this journey - even if we don’t all get new lunchboxes and sparkly shoes to help us along this journey! 

As we go about our days, I pray that the Spirit will continually guide us in learning grace: learning to give grace, learning to accept grace, and learning to be grace. Then we might say with Paul, “the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus” (1 Tim. 1:14). 


Pastor Amy

Blessed are we, the graced.

We who don’t deserve it.

Whose failures haunt us.

The things we said.

The things we left unsaid.

The decisions and addictions and broken relationships

that have ripple effects we still feel today.

Somehow, we are the recipients of this mysterious gift.

Grace doesn’t erase the pain or harm we’ve caused.

But grace, still.

For us, the redeemable.

And if we are . . . that means they are too.

Yes–even them:

The rude neighbor.

The estranged father.

The unforgiving ex.

The boss who screwed you over.

The doctor who messed up.

The selfish pastor.

The family member who did the unthinkable.

Despite what we all have left done and left undone. We are graced.

Blessed are all of us who wrestle with unforgiveness and ungrace.

You who make amends.

You who reach for forgiveness.

You who say you’re sorry even when sorry will never be enough.

You who find the bridge to forgive the wrong done to you.

Even when you cannot forget. Or can’t go back.

Or they aren’t nearly sorry enough.

Blessed are we who live here. In this mystery, this scandal, of grace.

~ Kate Bowler and Jessica Richie. “finding grace for others (and ourselves).” In The Lives we Actually Have: 100 Blessings for Imperfect Days: pp. 114-15.

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