The Heart of Grace

ABC News highlighted a high school basketball team as its “Persons of the Week” last year  for their acts of compassionate grace. View the video to capture the fullness of this post.

My immediate feeling after viewing the video referenced above was What is grace?

Grace is humble acceptance. It is honor, dignity, values, strength, compassion, fearless faith.

My next question was How does grace feel?

To most grace feels soothing, non-competitive, empathetic, solid.

For the members of the rival basketball teams, grace felt like caring.

The Milwaukee Madison Knights high school basketball team’s co-captain, Johnntell Franklin, mother had just died from cancer.  He left her bedside and came to the game played against rivals Dekalb Barbs of Illinois.  Because he was not listed as a player the coach could not put him in to play, even though he recognized how important it was for Johntell to assuage his personal pain, without incurring a technical foul.  He sent Johntell in, but the grace evolves deeper when the Dekalb coach told his top free throw shooter to miss the free throw shots in deference to Johntell’s grief.
These young men felt grace, the whole crowd felt grace, and the coaches taught the permanent message of grace to these young men. Dekalb Coach says, “There are a lot of things much more important than the Xs and Os of basketball.” Knights coach wrote “unheard of sportsmanship and class.”

I recently experienced another act of grace after witnessing an unjust act which would have spun others into anger, harsh words or recrimination. Instead this person acted with grace by accepting the outcome without complaint or finger pointing.  That too is grace – to be so aware that circumstances or outcomes do not make the person.

Let us all act with grace.