In What’s So Amazing About Grace?, Philip Yancey tells the story of Peter Greave. Greave contracted leprosy while stationed in India. “He returned to England, half-blind and partially paralyzed, to live on a compound run by a group of Anglican sisters.

Unable to work and banished from society, he turned bitter. Thoughts of suicide dogged him. He made elaborate plans to escape the compound, but always backed out because he had nowhere to go.

“One morning, uncharacteristically, he got up very early and strolled the grounds. Hearing a buzzing noise, he followed it to the chapel, where sisters were praying for the patients whose names were written on its walls. Among the names, he found his own. Somehow that experience of connection, of linking, changed the course of his life. He felt wanted. He felt graced” (p.40).


Chances are high you know someone who feels like an outcast – someone whose experiences in life have turned him or her bitter. This person would love to escape but thinks there is nowhere to go. Perhaps this person is you.

Whoever the exiled soul may be, the most remarkable feature of God’s love is how available it is for any of us: paupers and presidents, pop stars and plumbers. Often unearned love sneaks up on us. We’re not expecting something so pure, so disarming, so…free. We assume we must pay for it, deserve it, earn it.


But grace can’t breathe in the smog of self-righteousness. It only wafts our way on unwarranted winds. To our utter surprise, our names are not merely written on a chapel wall. They are etched into the hands of God.

That’s grace. We are loved, not because of the things we have done or the things we will do, but because we have been claimed by God as his very own. Once touched by this kind of love, we can’t help but share it.


In fact, God’s love is dispensed uniquely through prayer. Our prayers for fellow journeyers who feel outcast and alone, create connections, links, that change the course of their lives. They feel graced and wanted, because deep in the heart of God, they are.

Who needs to hear your prayers for them?

See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.

Isaiah 49:16 (NIV)

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Roger Ross

A native of Cambridge, Illinois, Roger has served as a pastor in Texas, the British Channel Island of Guernsey, and Illinois. While in Illinois, he led teams that planted two new churches and served for 10 years as the lead pastor of one of the largest United Methodist Churches in the Midwest. It was his privilege to serve as the Director of Congregational Excellence in the Missouri Conference before coming into his current role with Spiritual Leadership, Inc (SLI).

Roger now comes alongside pastors, non-profit leaders and their leadership teams as an executive coach, specializing in leadership that inspires change. As a side gig, he loves teaching evangelism and church planting as an adjunct professor at SMU’s Perkins School of Theology in Dallas, Texas.

Other passions of his include SCUBA diving in warm blue water, Krispy Kremes, and board games with family and friends. He also has a weakness for golf.

Roger is the author of three books, Meet The Goodpeople: Wesley’s 7 Ways to Share Faith, Come Back: Returning to the Life You Were Made For, and Come Back Participant Guide, all through Abingdon Press.

Now for the best part. Roger is married to Leanne Klein Ross, and they live Bloomington, Illinois. God has blessed them with two adult children, a son-in-law, several tropical fish, and one adorable granddog.