Around this time last year, a woman approached me with tears in her eyes and said with all the strength she could muster, “My husband left me last year because he’s gay. Christmas will be the first time I’m having him back in the house.” Wow. I could tell she was gearing up emotionally, trying to put on a brave face while also revealing a mix of heartache, anger and compassion. Holidays are charged enough as it is without the added stress of a strained relationship. I was impressed by this olive branch she was extending and even more by her determination to extend it. Acts of grace aren’t always easy. Some flow naturally but some require grit. Like the grace and grit of the cross, which is our model of reconciliation. Grace and grit. It’s the motto of the prophets and martyrs, and those who invite exes to the dinner table. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” said the Apostle Paul. (Philippians 4:13). So can that woman I prayed for. So can you.