Stumbling Into Grace: How We Meet God in Tiny Works of Mercy

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Mary Pezzulo intended to learn all about God through graduate studies in philosophy and Christian ethics, but serious illness ruined those plans and landed her young family in desperate straits. Despite chronic illness, deep poverty, blatant discrimination, and the cruelty she encountered, Pezzulo began tripping over God in the tiny works of mercy she offered to others and received herself. With striking candor and gritty faith she shows us how we also can meet God in the smallest acts of love.

When Pezzulo began her blog Steel Magnificat in 2016, she never imagined she would be writing so much about poverty, discrimination, abuse, or the loneliness of chronic illness. Nor did she realize that the corporal and spiritual works of mercy would bring stark clarity and unflinching hope to her life. She had moved to Steubenville, Ohio, to study philosophy and ethics so that she could teach people about Jesus and make the world a better place. She expected to find God in beautiful churches, inspiring books, and the spoken words of brilliant scholars. But when her life and professional ambitions crumbled around her, she entered a terrible darkness and floundered in desperate poverty, illness, and the lingering trauma of abuse.

In that dark time, Pezzulo began to know mercy, finding God in countless tiny acts. In Stumbling into Grace she shows how the works of mercy have become her anchor in turbulence and calm, piercing sorrow and ridiculous joy, overcoming despair and bringing enduring hope. Now she shares with you how to live the works of mercy in your own life.

  • When Feeding the Hungry, keep in mind that the more needy the person you’re feeding is the more care you should take—these are the people who are most in need of hope and visible acts of love.
  • Instructing the Ignorant begins with helping people and forming good relationships because people are worth it.
  • Giving Drink to the Thirsty can mean advocacy and charitable giving that support access to clean water for those throughout the world just as much as it means offering drinks to anyone who enters your home.
  • Counseling the Doubtful starts with acknowledging that faith is bigger than all of us and that it’s not wrong to have questions, doubts, or to look at another faith to see if its beliefs and practices are closer to your spiritual longings.
  • Clothing the Naked means restoring a sense of dignity to every part of a person by providing appropriate, comfortable, and good-looking clothing, and by protecting people from gossip and prejudice.
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