Terry Hershey, author, minister and inspirational speaker, has written a new book for us, Sanctuary: Creating a Space for Grace in Your Life.
He opens with the following charming anecdote:
In the latter years of her life, in the backyard of her home in northern Florida, my grandmother had a porch swing. She liked to sit and swing and hum old church hymns such as “Rock of Ages, Cleft for Me.” I can still see her there, wearing a white scarf over her head, a concession to chemotherapy’s unrelenting march. When as a young adult I visited her, she would always ask me to sit with her on the swing for a spell. She would pat my leg and call me “darlin’.”
As long as my grandmother lived—and in spite of her pain—there was always a place for me on the swing. If I were asked to explain grace, I would paint the picture of my grandmother’s swing. There, I never had to deliberate or explain or worry, regardless of the weight I carried. The porch swing—my grandmother’s presence—bestowed grace without conditions.