What do you see … the grass or the light?
And how do you see the grass without the light?
Or the light without the grass?
Does it seem strange to you that an amoeba would try to talk to a ballerina?
Or, even more, that a ballerina would care to talk to an amoeba?
What language would they use?
What reality would frame the conversation?
What concerns, what urgencies, would energize the exchange?
So, when prayer confuses me … I probably should not find that confusion confusing.
The work of prayer is not so much what is being prayed about –
But about making the connection.
It is a wonder that a connection can be made;
A kindness that such connection is invited.
There is a transformation, bit by bit, in what I see;
In who I am;
In who we are, together.
Conversation becomes conversion … bit by bit by bit.
Praise to God, to God, to God
Praise to God, my soul!
I can wiggle my toes into the edges of the ocean,
but never plumb its depths.
I can tickle the skirt of the sky,
and let it wrap me round
and let it enter in at every breath,
but even imagination cannot examine its bounds.
I can lean me back in your love,
and wake my soul to ever-new delights,
but it is more, is more, is more
than I can grasp.
Instead, it grasps me
and holds me
and stirs me to praise.
The edges of wonder dust my days.
and in the praising, stretch my soul
to gather wonder’s dust in sheer delight of you.
9 29 11
[photo is my own]
The single and true purpose of mature religion is to allow you to experience your True Self–who you are in God and who God is in you–and to live a generous life from that Infinite Source. If religion does not do this, it is junk religion. – Richard Rohr
Beauty is to the spirit what food is to the flesh. – Frederick Buechner
All the beauties of this scene sing to my heart:
The imagined rush of wings,
The crisp, cold kiss of snow,
The delicate colors of feather on feather,
The bright eye, focused on flight.
The wonderful balance of it all.
Hurrah for beauty, as it feeds my soul.
Grace is something you can never get but can only be given. There’s no way to earn it or deserve it or bring it about any more than you can deserve the taste of raspberries and cream or earn good looks or bring about your own birth.
A good sleep is grace and so are good dreams. Most tears are grace. The smell of rain is grace. Somebody loving you is grace. Loving somebody is grace. – Frederick Buechner
Grace enters my life quietly – gracefully. It comes on the smile of a friend and the warm embrace of my spouse. It arrives on my kitchen counter, in a basket of garden vegetables delivered by a neighbor. It comes as I watch my 2-week old granddaughter, stretching and yawning and trying to focus on this world she has just been given.
Buechner reminds me that I cannot acquire grace on my own. I cannot buy it, earn it, or demand it. Even when I’ve been my very best self, I cannot presume to deserve it.
There is, however, one volitional thing I can do with grace. I can give it. I can be the smile or give the hug or offer the gifts of friendship. I can be a neighbor. I can become the conduit of grace.
The mystery is that most often, in giving grace, I get it in return. When it is truly myself I give and not the duty-driven, obligatory gesture – it is then I find the grace of soul-to-soul relationship. That holy space of encounter is the birthplace of grace. And the birthplace of the me I truly want to be.
Even as a grandma, I feel newborn in the world of this mystery. I cannot always focus on its wonder, but somehow I know that I am held. And that is grace.
My baby has a baby.
No words today … just wonder
and a grateful heart.