This started in Texas.
I have been meaning to go and visit Betty Shadle for years. And just now I finally got to it. From Denver to Longview, Texas.
I wasn't sure if I needed, or would need by the time I left to go home, a passport but I brought all the Texas-looking paraphenalia I could muster --- my cowboy boots, jean jackets, stick horse (okay, no stick horse), and I wore my cowboy hat practically to bed the nights I was out on the road traveling.
The New York University and Macalester decals on the back window of the car made me nervous. I didn't want to stick out. So I took my dirty Subaru through a few fields, got some straw sticking out under the doors and hoped for the best.
Well. Was I a goof nut or what. Every person I met looked me square in the eye with a gracious gleam and gave me welcome.
I LOVED Texas. I loved my visit with Betty, I expected that. What I was not expecting was loving Texas, loving Texans. Okay, so there are some places I did not go that might not have been so friendly but driving across practically the entire state, grace. Just grace.
And then, Betty. Betty is a story unto herself. And so is her remarkable, wonderful family.
For here, for now. Let's just saw that if one didn't know the gifts of grace before, one would after.
What they gave me: sheer grace. All of it.