Caravan Sonnet: From Hope Valley (Week 18): The Power of Extending Grace

6/14/17

From Hope Valley (Week 18): The Power of Extending Grace

In my humble opinion, one of the most powerful moments to occur in When Calls the Heart happened in the 3rd episode of Season 2. This exchange between Abigail and Clara is one of the most tender and one of the most beautiful examples of the power of extending grace to another. 

As I think back on the first few episodes from Season 2, I am struck by the level of relationship that Abigail and Clara developed despite the circumstances that connected them. Abigail was not even aware that she had a daughter-in-law when Clara came to testify at the trial. In grief, she could have even been "forgiven" for not accepting or welcoming Clare. Instead Abigail not only went in search of Clara, but gently pursued her heart by offering and extending grace in numerous situations.


This powerful scene gently reminds us what is important in life... the power of extending grace to others.


I think that there are so many beautiful things that we can take away from this scene from Abigail and Clara to our own lives. Here are just three things that I have been pondering:

First, this scene tenderly shows that grace in its truest form is not based on performance or how well we do something. For those of you that have watched this episode in season 2, you may remember that Clara had just finished her first day at Abigail's cafe. The day hadn't gone as planned as she struggled with cooking and with serving the customers as this was completely new to her. Instead of Abigail criticizing her or even saying something like, "you'll do better tomorrow", Abigail gets right to the heart of the issue and extends grace to Clara gently reminding her that she is the most important thing, not her performance. 

In our world it is so easy to feel that we must perform well or near perfection to receive praise. We should rejoice with other's accomplishments and achievements, but what if we took the time to spend a few moments offering grace in the moments that people feel that they have failed? In the moments where people feel like they are not enough? What about if we reminded them that no matter what they are family? Or to those we interact with outside our family, what if we gently reminded them that they can break all of the "dishes" they want or need in our lives? Can you imagine the impact that this would have on our families and communities?

Second, this scene and conversation reminds us that healing can come when grace is extended. Some of you may remember my second "From Hope Valley devotional" where I talked about the power of love restoring a lost voice. (You can read it HERE if you haven't read it.) I received so many emails about this post and the incredible way that my students at the time truly changed my life. This is absolutely the truth, but just as many of you remarked on the grace that the parents extended to me that year. To be honest, the older that I get it is something that amazes me more and more. 

The gift that the parents of that senior class gave me was priceless. Those parents extended extreme grace, and in doing so gave me the gift of healing so that one circumstance of brokenness would not be the definition or the foundation of the rest of my life. Those parents also taught me that when we extend grace to those in our communities, we gently teach others around us to do the same thing. In doing so grace becomes a powerful force that changes not only one life, but has a ripple effect onto others.

Third, this scene gently reminds me to let go of what my perceived "rights" are and extend grace to every situation. Can you imagine how this entire conversation and relationship between Abigail and Clara might have been different if Abigail had acted within "her rights"? So many people would say that Abigail would have been justified to have been angry or frustrated that she didn't even know her son had gotten married. So many people would have said that Abigail had a right to mourn the fact that she was not at the wedding. Abigail focuses on none of those things, but instead on gently loving the young woman before her. In doing so she continues to extend grace, which changes the entire relationship and gives Clara the freedom to not only mourn, but move forward in her life.

Sweet friends, today, let us extend grace to those around us. Let us offer the kind word instead of the harsh one. Let us remind those who are feeling like they are failing that they are important. Let us courageously look beyond our own "rights" to extend grace to the brokenhearted. For as we do so, we set in motion the beautiful rippling and powerful effect of extending grace into others lives... into our communities... and into our world.

"...grace upon grace..."
-John 1:16-


Looking for past From Hope Valley Devotionals? You can click HERE to find a complete listing of all of the devotionals! 

I have received several emails asking me about the books by Janette Oke that the series is based on. You may remember that I mentioned in my very first From Hope Valley Devotional post that I had read Janette Oke's series back when I was a teenager. The original book series, "The Canadian West Series" was based on Elizabeth's aunt and her adventures (she also married a Mountie). Here are the listing of the books from that series (there are six) in order:


In the last several years Janette Oke released a new series entitled, "Return to the Canadian West" which you can find listed below in order:

Janette Oke is truly one of my "writer heroes". Meeting her at the Hearties Family Reunion this past December was one of the absolute highlights for me. She was so incredibly kind and encouraging about the topic of writing to me. 

And guess what? The dates for the next Hearties Family Reunion has been announced! It will be happening in October. If you are already not a member of the When Calls the Heart Facebook group you can join HERE and find out more information. If you would like to read about my experience last year you can do so by clicking on one of the links below:


Please let me know if you have any questions about the reunion! 

*Please note that the quotes used in these weekly devotionals are the sole intellectual property of Hallmark Channel, WCTH, & Crown Media, LLC. These on-line posts are in no way supported, endorsed or affiliated with WCTH, Hallmark Channel, or Crown Media. They are simply encouragement inspired by Janette Oke and this precious show.*

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