As Baptists we are quite fond of defining grace. Unmerited favor is the most popular one I can think of. I'v also heard of "common grace", something which I'm not sure of. well, I came across an illustration of grace once. at the end of the illustration the expositor likened the act of one of the characters to heavenly grace. Non-verbatim, this is how I remember the illustration: A young man served two tours in Vietnam back in the late 60's so he could save up and buy himself a Mustang which was quite the poor man's choice for a race car back in those days, the speaker said. Indeed, the very first thing he did on the very first hour of his very first day stateside, was go to the dealer, and choose himself a Mustang. Being a native of that state, he knew exactly where to take the car with no dangers to others, So he went to this highway with its long, ribbon-like, ups and downs and miles of straight highways and he was having the time of his life until he raced down and past a billboard and caught out of the corner of his eye a State Trooper's car parked behind it and under its shade. He slammed his brakes as best he knew that wouldn't tailspin the car, hoping to stop or at least quickly slow it down, but when you're going 90 miles an hour, you just can't do that, and you just can't go less than 50 yards and hope to stop like you could if you were going 45 mph. so he halted a good way down of a distance from the billboard, and watched in rearview as the State Trooper hit the lights and leisurely drove towards him. The trooper stopped a few yards behind him, got out of his car, and walked ever so calmly towards him. The young man cranked his window open, just as the Trooper, towering all of 6'2" over the low built sports car, reached the driver's side. He stood there, not saying anything, and the young man was getting really nervous. Was he going to get triple fined ? was he going to jail for reckless driving ? why is this guy so silent ? Trooper: Did you know you were going 95 on a 50 ? Young Man: I guess I was, sir. Silence. about a minute. Trooper: follow me a few miles down the road, will you, son ? and please don't run. Surprised, the young man said yes and followed the trooper. About a coupla miles down was a coffee shop, and the young man waited while the trooper walked in, and out, with two cups of coffee. Trooper: pop that hood and come over to the front of this fancy car of yours and show me what you got (handing over one cup of coffee to the young man). And there they stood in that tarmac, under the hot sun, talking about cars and cams and engines and all things racing. half-an-hour later, they parted friends. not a word about the violation, not a parking ticket issued. just forgiveness and friendship from one who understood youth, and who also served the country, in his time. as close to heavenly grace as you can get, from a State Trooper. do you agree ?