Burning the Couch: Some Stories of Grace

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Robbie Taggart tells of the couch he and some youthful friends found one day and decided to burn. When the fire got out of control, a fire truck showed up fortuitously, and a firefighter with a large extinguisher put out the flames. “So. What’s going on here?” he then asked. “I, uh,” the young Taggart stammered, “we were just being idiots.” The firefighter smiled broadly and said, “Well, sometimes being an idiot catches up to you.” He then walked away. Taggart and his friends, relieved that they were not going to be arrested, drove away at exactly the speed limit, laughing and astonished. This is his first example of grace, a concept he brings to life with two other stories, one about a friend who was rescued from drug-addicted and abusive parents by a caring second-grade teacher. This essay was awarded first place in the 2019 Richard H. Cracroft Personal Essay Contest.