Even healers need to be healed. Even teachers need to learn more. And even those who advise perfection aren’t perfect. If we’re willing to admit that, then we have the grace of integrity, explains Lisa Hendey in her fourth book The Grace of Yes, released yesterday by Ave Maria Press.
Integrity gives people in authority (including all parents) and people in ministry the strength to face down two equal and opposite temptations. The first temptation is to believe our own press and to think that we can live up to our own airbrushed avatars. The second is to perceive our own brokenness, our falls, and our failings, and then to despair that God can ever spread his word through us.
With integrity, we can stare unflinchingly at our shortcomings and preach the good news of love and redemption anyway, knowing that we need it as much as anyone else.
Integrity is one of the many hidden graces that Lisa introduces us to in The Grace of Yes. Others include creativity, vulnerability, and even the strength to say no to a good that we are not called to do. Throughout the book, Lisa’s encouraging voice reassures and inspires us to dig deeper, reach further, and keep fighting the good fight.
Not surprisingly, when Manny and I asked the publisher of our marriage advice book for examples of the warm and personal tone they wanted, they sent us The Grace of Yes. Lisa gives the impression that she has been in the trenches and shared the same journey as the reader, our publisher said, and I agree 100%.
Working with Lisa through CatholicMom.com, I can testify to the difference that Lisa’s yeses have made in my life and ministry. Lisa was the first person to welcome me to social media. When I asked her to stop by and visit my fledgling blog back in 2011, she did. When I asked her to run a press release celebrating my blog’s first 1,000 page views, she did. When I asked her to endorse my yet-to-be-published Catholic marriage advice book, she did. It’s no exaggeration to say that Lisa’s generosity of spirit and the vibrant community of women into which she welcomed me have been essential ingredients in the growth of my ministry.
In gratitude to Lisa, I want to work harder at saying yes to others and at giving thanks when others say yes to me. Lisa’s book gives me the tools to turn that wanting into reality. You, too, should read it, implement it, and see how the grace of simple, small yeses can open the door to so much more.