“I stood up from where I had sat in mourning with my cloths torn. I fell to my knees and lifted my hands to the Lord my God. I prayed, O my God, I am utterly ashamed; I blush to lift up my face to you. For our sins are piled higher than our heads, and our guilt has reached to the heavens. From the days of our ancestors until now, we have been steeped in sin…But now we have this brief moment of grace… Ezra 9: 5~7, 8a NLT


I’m joining Kate Motaung for today’s Five Minute Friday. Today’s one word prompt: LIFT.


Ezra’s intercession on behalf of God’s wayward people brings me to my knees. Every. Time.

I picture him, broken hearted, clothing torn, on bended knee. How often I turn to these words at the end of my day, tallying sins, shredding myself to bits.

My Bible, marked with ink and coffee stains spills open to Ezra’s words. I breathe in, exhale my sin piled high. Cry out for others steeped deeper in a pit of darkness. Having been in so deep a place myself, (I wrote about that here), my heart tenders for these.

My want to extend grace as I have been graced, often trapped in old grudges and records kept.

Ezra, fully surrendered, counts himself no different than those he cries out for. The yielding in his words, “I am utterly ashamed, I blush to lift my face to you.”

On the other side, there is this, “this brief moment of grace.”

I long to live stringing the brief moments of grace into my ordinary days, the small and big of life. To grace as I have been graced. To lift hands high to God. Scrape up just a bit of Ezra’s humble heart, place it mine.

“But now we have been given this brief moment of grace”

Gifts of Grace

Tammy Mashburn