These two words came up recently and needed my attention. To be offended is usually a difference of opinion or the way we think about something. To be hurt is different and goes to the heart. Questions come to mind, do we allow others to have an opinion without getting offended? Do we get hurt too easily? Do we allow each other some grace as our opinions are forming or being reshaped? My honest answer to all would be that I have failed to be gracious when speaking my opinions so many times, but my heart has softened and my skin has thickened these last few years. There is plenty of differences because we have all been shaped differently. Our stories are unique. This gives all of us an unlimited supply of opinions that have the potential to offend or hurt. However, there is just as many things that we have in common and plenty of grace to be extended. This does not make wrong right or right wrong, but it gives us an incredible opportunity to listen to each other and space to practice being nonjudgmental. Who knows? We may make a lot of new friends in the process and expand our sphere of influence to those who desperately need a savior, but want nothing to do with religion. Sound like the making of a bridge to me. One we could name grace and mercy.