Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
- Robert Frost -

Awful Grace is like pain. It is not what we want, but it is that which we absolutely cannot do without if we are to grow to the full stature of who we were created to be. There is an inherent paradox in Awful Grace which some might see as a contradiction.

It is awful because it is not often something we would desire. It is grace because it comes without merit. In accordance with the definition, it can be at one and the same time unpleasant, dreadful, awe-inspiring, impressive, reverential, or dangerous. It is awful grace because it is grace that is never earned, but bestowed on us and ultimately for a purpose that brings us way beyond the point and place we would have ever dared venture on our own.

The lessons gleaned from the pain that awful grace produces is rewardingly richer than any lesson learnt in the safety of a classroom. Many across the ages have been undeserved recipients of such a grace. Just from the narrow vantage point of the Aeschylus quote on learning and wisdom, the depth of learning beyond the pedestrian is worth the risks.

Central to every story are its characters who make the story and develop its plot. As stewards – be it volunteers, donors, recipients, or staff – our roles are crucial if the story is to have meaning.