When we speak of God's grace, we mean all the good gifts we enjoy freely in life. There are so many. We could spend a lifetime celebrating them: blackberries, buttercups, moonlight, salamanders, etc. A more summary approach is to affirm that life itself is the fundamental gift, with all its delights. For us, the gift of life includes the wondrous gift of being human, finding ourselves plopped down in the midst of the larger gift of creation. That is the bedrock of grace—creation, life, human being. As humans, we are given a unique place in the created order. The creation stories in Genesis are ways of celebrating this original grace. In the stories, God pronounces all creation, including humankind, very good, that is, full of grace.
We also use the word grace to mean the secondary gifts we perceive in the skill and intelligence of creatures. The gospel says the boy Jesus grew in grace and favor, meaning he began to exhibit his unique personality and potential to contribute to his community. We speak of the beauty of a lion or a dancer, saying they exude an animal grace, discerned in the vitality and fluidity of their movement. When we use the word graceful to describe a creature, it's because the creature is being expressive of its God-given self.
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