randomness

being a sort of collection of ideas, images, and interesting words relating to nothing in particular, to life in general and to pretty much everything in one way or another.


Grace

Posted on Jun 03, 2015 by mackieo
Grace is that extra bit of help when you think you are really doomed; also, not coincidentally, when you have finally run out of good ideas on how to proceed, and on how better to control the people or circumstances that are frustrating or defeating you. I experience Grace as a cool ribbon of fresh air when I feel spiritually claustrophobic. Sometimes I experience it as water-wings, something holding me up when I am afraid that I'm going down, or the tide is carrying me away. I know that Grace meets us whereever we are, but does not leave us where it found us. Sometimes it is so small--a couple of seconds relief here, several extra inches there. I wish it were big and obvious, like sky-writing. Oh, well. Grace is not something I DO, or can chase down; but it is something I can receive, when I stop trying to be in charge.  ― Anne Lamott

The grace of God means something like: Here is your life. You might never have been, but you are because the party wouldn't have been complete without you. ― Frederich Beuchner

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Grace is one of my favorite concepts. It's something I look for as I move through my day. The experience of a gift, undeserved and given freely given is so beautiful and has huge potential for dramatic and  profound change. The song goes like this, "Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me, I once was lost but now I'm found..." my existence without the gift of Grace can feel wretched and hopeless. The experience of that gift that changes everything from hopeless, to a the existence of a glimmer of light and hope in the darkness has happened more than once in my life. The shift is not something I created on my own, and although I can prepare myself to receive it, I can't force it to happen. My homework is to be open to receiving it, to prepare myself for it to land. I look at it kind of like gardening. I can till the soil, plant the seeds, water them, and wait. Something bigger than me makes them grow. Some of the ways I do my homework are by practicing yoga, meditating, reading, journalling, focusing on what I can add to the stream of life rather than what I can get out of it… I'm not perfect at any of it. I keep showing up each day and in each moment and doing what I can to walk towards Grace.

There is this other part of Grace, the part that calls me to participate as fully in my life as I can on any given day because I have something unique to offer. That element of Grace is the cry of the love dogs. It's the invisible God shaped hole that hungers for connection, for union, for something to believe in. The part that knows it needs help is the thing that wakes me up to the idea that I want and need someone else, something else, something bigger than my limited concept and distorted perspective of a life on this planet.

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Love Dogs
One night a man was crying, Allah! Allah!
His lips grew sweet with the praising,
until a cynic said,
"So! I have heard you
calling out, but have you ever
gotten any response?"
The man had no answer to that.
He quit praying and fell into a confused sleep.
He dreamed he saw Khadir, the guide of souls,
in a thick, green foliage.
"Why did you stop praising?"
"Because I've never heard anything back."
"This longing you express is the return message.
The grief you cry out from draws you toward union.
Your pure sadness that wants help 
is the secret cup."
Listen to the moan of a dog for its master.
That whining is the connection.
There are love dogs
no one knows the names of.
Give your life
to be one of them.”
― Rumi