Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

November 29, 2015

A Model of Graciousness

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 3:52 pm

(A re-post from February 26, 2013, in respect to Mark Richt.)

Now and then I am struck with a model of graciousness!  We do not see it all that often in a society that protects its time and privacy –often at the expense of others.

Graciousness is seen when a person extends themselves in kindness and courtesy.  True graciousness is not an act or effort in certain situations, but is a character trait of an individual.  It is so refreshing to witness that characteristic!  If you spend time with that person,  you soon know if it is genuine and a consistent expression.

Recently, that characteristic was verified again in a person that I have long been convinced is a mark of his life.  (Read Coach and First Lady,

I am speaking of nationally respected and successful head football coach of the University of Georgia, Mark Richt.  We recently had dinner with Mark and Katharyn at a very large restaurant in Atlanta.  It was interesting to observe the reactions of people as they recognized him.

As I would watch through the corner of my eye, some would be using their cameras — mostly their phone camera — and they would try to take a picture of him from a distance.  It appeared that others were “shooting” over the shoulder of someone in their group as if they were taking a picture of the them.

But it did not take long before people began to come to the table.  They would shake his hand and ask if they could take his picture.  Mark was so gracious and kind.  He always invited the wife, or husband, or child to come stand with him.  He would even take the smaller children and lift them into his lap.

There would be far too many times to count how his meal was interrupted.  On departure from the restaurant, much more time was given to photos!  He is truly an icon in Georgia!

True graciousness was evident during our meal.  And Mark never expressed any impatience.  Why . . . he would usually stand for the photos . . . and during these days it is more difficult as he is recovering from a hip replacement!  You are imagining by now a meal of standing and sitting, and being interrupted in conversations so he could converse with these many Georgia fans.

I continued to watch and my mind was asking how can one be so gracious?  Again, I confirm that it is “not part of his job,” but a natural expression of who he is!

I think I know why he is such a gracious gentleman.  It has to do with who he really is . . . or should I say . . . to Whom he truly belongs.  Mark Richt is a committed Christian.  Jesus Christ is truly the Lord of his life.  As we were served our food, and my being the “preacher,” I prepared to say the blessing.

But Mark immediately ask for the privilege to say the blessing.  What a testimony to others in the restaurant!  But again, it was not for show!  Although it was a profound witness of who he is, it was a genuine desire to thank his Heavenly Father.  The Christian life . . . openly expressing such faith . . . speaks volumes!  Why is Mark Richt so gracious?  His Lord was gracious and Mark reflects the One he openly serves!  His Christ bestowed grace on him.  A pure act of God’s love bestowed on us — God’s grace — undeserved, yet given.  Christ in us gives us the ability to show grace to others.  Without doubt, Mark expresses grace!

Oh, what a wonderful world this would be if such graciousness abounded!

“And God is able to make all grace abound in you . . . .”  2 Corinthians 9:8



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