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Tuesday, February 06, 2007


MSN Encarta Dictionary defines grace as :
generosity of spirit: a capacity to tolerate, accommodate, or forgive people.

Fantastic concept! And really easy to practise.
With small, furry pets. With the bagger at Safeway. Even with that moron who cuts you off in traffic. But people who are closely, intimately tied to oneself? With people whose daily small and large choices directly impact the life outcomes of those he/she lives and breathes with?
What does grace look like then? What does it mean when grace for others challenges and threatens one's own life concept or strongly held belief systems and convictions?

Maybe its an easier concept for people with flexible ideals. Or maybe for people who have very clear boundaries for themselves and others, and have something akin to a large mental walk-in closet. Here they are able to suitably store disappointments and fears without the door constantly flying open, allowing those fearful and ungracious little ogres to come crawling back to the foreground of thought and behavior.

This must be very closely connected with faith. With a loving God who enables waning-grace- wanna-be's with some great abilities to succeed at tolerating, accomodating, and forgiving. But even when it is a God thing, its gotta feel LOUSEY. Its got to feel like a lack of empowerment-- letting people get away with stuff that impacts others. Should they be allowed to do that?

Or is that the point? We can not control anyone, but we can trust that God's got our back? That good will ultimately win over evil? That the truth will always win? That faith is believing in things not seen? In things hoped for?

And what's to be done with the rage and sadness that the human body produces as routinely as excrement and perspiration? Is there an emotional shower or even a convincing body spray to mask the odours of fear and longing?

Is there a place for brute honesty while genuinely offering grace?
Or is it just really not about me.


lettuce said...

Oh Joyce this really touches some things I'm going through at the moment.

It has to be to do with honesty too, doesn't it?

It must be, I really think it must.

btw., I suddenly realised this evening that you were in my dream last night.

Does that make you more or less real?

Judy said...

Oh, you are on to something.

Rage and sadness ARE like excrement and perspiration in that you don't want to carry it around.
Getting rid of it quickly and permenently seems like the thing to do.

To me it always seems like 'timing' is the element I need to figure into the equation.

I know someone who needs my brute honesty before they can accept grace.

But, the timing is everything.

I stink at timing.

Joyce said...

I'm glad the two of you stuck your necks out here. Letty if you learn something, won't you pass it along? I think it is... honesty without manipulation.
And the dream thing...Gosh! First I thought that made me real, but then I realized the irony!

Judy, timing means that it hurts like a begger during the time one has chosen to stay quiet instead of rant?

QueenHeroical said...

I haven't any enlightenment here just nods and hmmm ... yep ... don't know eithers ... but it has my brain churning.

More rereading and more hmmms ...

Thanks for the bone to gnaw on, can't garauntee I won't drop it for fear of losing teeth though.

-- Krina

Ruth said...

i just read this in a book i am reading....

"when we genuinely forgive - we set a prisoner free and then discover the prisoner we set free is ourself."

reminded me of corrie ten boom when she was in germany preaching about forgiveness. and yadda yadda yadda. and at the end of her speech a man came up to her and extended his hand and said, "thank you for sharing. isn't it wonderful that God forgives us all"
she recognized him. he had been a guard in the nazi camp she was inprisoned in. her memories were filled with pain.

i remember reading that she said the moment she saw him the battle of injustice raged inside her heart....and as (by only Gods grace alone) she was able to extend her hand to her former persecuter a wave of love filled her.

Homo Escapeons said...

Our biggest problem is that we have this overdeveloped brain that retains so many characteristics that helped us get ahead of the other species...

now that we have put a little distance between us and the other species we have unfortunately concentrated on eliminating other humans.

I think that humans should be labelled as Homo Dichotomous..we are always at war with ourselves and with others...growing up as a scared little primate left us with a lot of baggage..

and most people are still trying to figure out how to open that darn suitcase, a few have actually peeked inside and others have lost their luggage because it was sent to a completely different destination!

Thank goodness that you got yours open Joyce..keep rummaging!