Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Fingerprints of Grace

When we think of a fingerprint, we rarely think past the thought of a smudge that our finger leaves on a surface. But a fingerprint is actually so much more, especially when it comes to leaving fingerprints of grace.

A fingerprint is an impression of who we are, left on something or someone we have touched. It is an indention of our unique makeup,  pressed upon something or someone else. It leaves our mark, and is sort of like our signature card for every move we make in life.

It is a unique external pattern of our internal DNA that nobody else in the world has besides us. A science article I recently read said that when fingerprints form, they are dependent upon "the exact position of a fetus in the womb at a particular moment and the exact composition and density surrounding amniotic fluid that's swirling around the fingers as they touch surrounding structures."

So the entire development of a fingerprint is so chaotic within the confines of a mother's belly that among all the people who have ever lived, or will ever live, there is virtually no chance of the same exact pattern ever forming twice. Even identical twins do not have identical fingerprints.

I find that fascinating, and when pondering the concept of Gods grace, as mentioned in today's Proverbs 31 Devotion, I began to consider not only how God has left His fingerprints on me, but how we leave our unique fingerprints of grace on other people.

The story of my life is covered with God's fingerprints of grace, as is yours as well.  All my precious memories, my blessings, and even my most painful scars, are evidence of God's fingerprints of grace in my life. As I thought about this analogy, God pricked my heart to ponder if, and how, I had left my fingerprints on anyone lately.  Not on their physical bodies, but on their spiritual hearts. 

I began to consider how much I treasure the grace that God provides to me, especially knowing that it is only given because of His sovereignty, not because I deserve it, yet how I often forget to extend grace to others, especially if I don't feel they deserve it. 

This whisper to my spirit prompted me to spend some time in prayer, asking God to make me aware of how I could 'touch' someone in the near future, with grace from me, as an extension of Him.

I also asked that He open my eyes to see if I am withholding grace from someone who needs it, and if I am, to infuse me with the courage to offer it as freely as He offers it to us  - with genuine love, and no strings attached.

I then recalled the verse in 2 Corinthians 9:8 which says "And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others."

I was reminded through this scripture verse that grace is not a gift to be kept to ourselves, but a gift that is meant to be shared.  When God leaves His impression on our hearts, we should feel so moved by His touch, that we feel an overwhelming desire to leave our fingerprints on the lives of someone else.

Are you thankful for God's fingerprints on your life?  Are you thankful enough to reach out and touch someone else in His name today? 

If God is bringing someone specific to your mind right now.... someone who needs your grace, and maybe even your forgiveness, but whom you have been withholding grace from .... will you consider leaving your fingerprint on them today?  Is there someone you don't even know, yet you may know about, who might need to be touched by God, through your touch today?

If so, consider leaving a quick comment about who God may have placed on your heart, so that we can all pray for each other,  but also for your own accountability to follow through, especially if it may take a lot of faith and courage to do so.

There are lots of ways to leave our fingerprints on people we know and people we do not know; people we love, and people we find hard to love. If God calls us to step out in faith and touch someone, then it is because that person needs to have our specific mark left on them. A mark which is unique to who we are, and one that no one else can leave. A signature card of who we are in Christ, and an indention on their hearts, with our initials.

So who will you leave your unique, God-inspired impression on today? When the day is over, where will your fingerprints be?

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Toni Ryan said...

Beautiful Tracie, just beautiful!!!

Thank you for such a powerful lesson.

In and for God's grace,

Toni Ryan

Bing Boettner said...

I need t oextend grace and leave the fingerprint of God's grace to one of my students. She seems to often rub me the wrong way. I wil lsee her today and I pray God wil lhelp me extend grace to her.

Bing Boettner said...

I need to extend grace and leave the fingerprint of God's grace to one of my students. She seems to often rub me the wrong way. I will see her today and I pray God will help me extend grace to her.

Janice said...

I need to extend grace to my niece, who has left her husband for someone else and is keeping him from seeing his own son. I find myself angry with her and upset. I need to extend grace instead of judgement.

Tracie Gray Smith said...

I want to extend grace & leave the fingerprint of God's grace on my family for whatever the situation might be. I know with God's grace it will get better. I can't help but think about the family that was murdered in the county in which i reside, Lord please strengthen their love ones in this time. I also have a cousin that I would like you Father to touch with a fingerprint of your devine love & grace.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful post. I know God's fingerprints are all over my life but I never thought I was leaving them on others' lives. I need to extend God's Grace to my brother. Lots of hurt both ways. I pray that I will leave fingerprints of His grace on lives. Thanks for the beautiful post. Blessings.

Anonymous said...

My brother. He made hurtful statements to me because of something someone else did to him and he blames me. It will be really hard because I was wronged for no reason by him.
I pray God will give me courage to extend grace to him even though I am still very angry at him.

Leigh F said...

I need to extend grace to my step-daughter who is 21. She has been very selfish and lying lately and I am hurt by her behavior.

DebbieFultner said...

I need to extend grace and forgiveness to my daughter-in-law who is divorcing my son. They have a precious 5 yr. Old son. I am hurt and angry and I want my heavenly Father to forgive me for those feelings and forgive her through me. Your analogy to the fingerprint is so vivid and when I have negative feelings about someone next time, I will think if I really want to leave a fingerprint of negativity or ask for God's grace.

Beth M. said...

Wow, this really hit home for me today! I am leaving a position and starting over at my job, because my boss has forced me to examine where my heart and God wants me to be. She has made my job extremely difficul and has personally attacked me (verbally). I think God wants me to extend to her grace, during my last week of working there.

Anonymous said...

Thank you -no more tornadoes in the lives of others but hurt pride and silence scorn still plague me today. I accuse others of the very thing I'm guilty of - my divorce has broken my heart, dreams, and faith. I will try to take my efforts of forgiveness a step further loved fingerprints with grace - I pray for a more compassionate heart and freedom from self so that I may extend the grace that was given to me.