“Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery it is. In the boredom and pain of it no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace.” Frederick Buechner
What is grace? How has it appeared in your life? Where do you believe it comes from?
This year, more than ever, I am aware of how precious life is. Two women I knew well died of cancer. A man whom we all deeply admired in my spiritual community died suddenly of a heart attack. We have also lost public figures like the beloved Robin Williams and Lauren Bacall.
No matter what difficulties arise, I am always reminded how fortunate I am to have the life I live, to have only medical problems that are not life-threatening, to have a loving husband, plenty of food, a home where I can live peacefully, and friends who are conscious and loving. I am blessed.
Grace Is A Mystery
As far as experiencing grace, I’ve often felt like Anne Lamott who said, “I do not at all understand the mystery of grace – only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us.” I am always drawn to mysteries without needing to solve them. They always make me ponder and question aspects of life I wouldn’t have noticed if the mystery had not arisen. In the pondering, a new awareness often arises that enriches my life.
Grace Enriches Our Lives
One of the most profound examples of grace in my life is how I met my husband. We were both on different online dating sites, and I accidently clicked on something that put me on his site. He was taking one last look before shutting down his account, saw me, and sent an email. But I never received it. I had taken myself off that site, but the picture he saw of me included a poster of the Release Your Fear workshops that I facilitate, and that helped him search and locate me.
He could have given up when I didn’t return his original email, but he listened to his heart. He was in the middle of one of those mysteries life throws our way, one of those key moments when, if we listen inside we will be guided by grace.
We Don’t Have To Earn Grace Or Deserve It
A friend defined grace as “undeserved, unearned, unexpected, and life-giving.” It just happens. We don’t do anything to cause it. We don’t have to earn it. It isn’t a reward. It just is—like our lives. Grace and the other mysteries of life may teach us we don’t always need to know why something happens. We just need to be grateful and accept the gift we are offered.
I am not suggesting that we always need to be passive, but I know that some things are beyond our abilities to fix. When there is a problem, it is wise to try to solve it. Many times when we have done all we know how to do, it is the acceptance that we don’t know the answer that opens the way for grace to enter and bless us with its wisdom.
We Need To Make Room For The Holy
Buechner says, “…touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it (life) because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace.” When we can wake each morning, grateful to live life, we fill the day with love and excitement, and we spread that energy to all around us. Even in the midst of chaos and challenges, we need to find that moment to go within and listen, to make room for the holy, however we define it, to enter and bless us.
We Must Listen To Our Inner Selves
One time when I was in distress about how to solve a problem, I had a friend do a psychic reading for me. She informed me that my spiritual guides were trying to speak to me, but I wasn’t listening. She was right. I was so focused on fixing what was “out there” that I wasn’t listening to my inner self.
We Must Be Open To Grace
Grace may visit us without our noticing it unless we are listening. When difficulties arise and we shut down emotionally, we build a wall that closes us off from the mysteries and spiritual gifts of life. We stop listening, and to listen, we have to risk hearing what we may not want to hear. That is sometimes exactly what we need to hear.
Living close to nature, even in a city, confronts us with the mysteries of life every day. I have done nothing to earn the frequent visits of the turkeys that live in my subdivision, nor do I have any idea why my yard has become a playground for a couple of youthful rabbits. But when I watch them wandering through my yard, I feel I have been touched with grace. The pleasure that I receive by watching them is a gift from the Divine, and I am eternally grateful.
© 2014 Georganne Spruce ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5
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