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The Perfect Gift of Grace

Jesus sees me at my worst, and He offers His best.

Shawnelle's son Zay holding the plaque

There’s a plaque, a long, lettered piece of wood that hangs in my kitchen above the corner cupboards. Today, as I rush to the dining room carrying plates because we’re almost late for swim practice, I see the sign out of the corner of my eye.

And it stops me still.

“Jesus knows me, this I love,” is what it says.

The plaque was given to me last July when we were in Michigan. While we were there, I had the blessing of spending the day with a friend I hadn’t seen for 20 years!

When she and her children arrived at our cabin, they were carrying wrapped packages. It had been my birthday the day before, and the plaque was one of the gifts.

“I love the order of the words,” Kelly had said when I opened the plaque. “How they’re changed just a bit.”

My little boys had all been able to sing the usual order of words, “Jesus loves me, this I know,” by the time they were two, voices sweet and soft and little hands clapping out a beat. It was precious to teach this truth to their young hearts.

But these words today, the order changing the meaning, fall fresh on my spirit as I stand with supper plates steaming in hand.

Jesus knows me.

He knows my anxieties.

My worries.

My fears.

He knows my temper.

My critical spirit.

My self-righteousness.

He knows my selfishness.

My self-centeredness.

My pride.

He knows my sin. The ones I bury deep. The ones I’d never whisper aloud.

And He meets me with grace.

Oh, this I love!

He sees me at my worst, and He offers His best.

There’s no hiding from the genuine lover of my soul.

The family gathers around the table. Boys are shuttling back-and-forth from the kitchen, setting the table, moving fast. There’s the clank of dishes and conversation roars. We’ll spend the rest of the evening busy, in a wild, mad rush.

But I’m quiet and settled on the inside.

Jesus knows me.

This I love.

It’s the perfect gift of grace.

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