In order for it to be properly received, Grace has to be felt in the body as well as the soul. Too often we reduce grace to merely a word, a string of letters and syllables. A wish and sentiment highly passive and distant in nature, sent on the winds. It has become a practice to bestow grace on others and have them do the same unto us. Unlike God, we cannot speak and have things be upon command. Our intentions are only as valid as the actions we take to back them up.
Know that grace will not serve you if you belittle it. Grace is not a prayer, notion, wish or magic spell. You can’t come into it and then walk away without a second thought. It is wasted when it remains on airwaves. The embodiment of grace is an experience we live our way into. Grace is how we move our bodies in divine connection with others. How we retain ultimate value in the eyes of our creator in times of emptiness and ebb as much as complete fullness and expression.
Perhaps you’ve heard of the Imago Dei, also known as The Christ in me. Whether in gift or practice, this represents flow. Think of a crescendo of waves- the initial rise and build up that gives way to gentle froth on a battered shore before retreating again. Grace is not here to clean up perceived messes. It is not an agent of cover up or rescue. It will not hide parts of you deemed unacceptable or make up for shortfall. The point is to remain steadfast and grounded in the present. Don’t let thoughts of an imagined future rob you of possibility in the present moment. Consider this: Grace is seeing the beauty in the bud as well as the bloom and the petals as they rise and fall.
A great deception in modern religious societies is the idea that this life serves no other purpose than getting you a ticket to heaven. Our communities are full of misguided people who disallow themselves from seeing the value in life on earth. This is a great gift we hold in the palms of our hands and with it comes responsibility. We owe it to ourselves to experience the full spectrum of what life has to offer. There is a certain inevitability to pain, just as there is joy and bliss. Remaining open to the unknown is more than worth it. Grace is kindness, a message to self of redemption and forgiveness. You don’t need to be rescued from here, from this, from your own person. You deserve healing, a piecing back together of all that is loose and rocky and foundation.
Listen and know that grace doesn’t have to be a rescue mission from here on in. If it doesn’t cover all the things we’ve done wrong, doesn’t reset the balance, then what purpose does it serve? Grace, in its purest form, is the energy that seeks justice, upholds accountability, forms and maintains healthy boundaries and strengthens them. Grace is the capacity to take a good long look at life and do so right in the face. To commit to doing right and making good decisions to the best of our ability while not being destroyed by past actions that are out of alignment with our character and truth. There will always be times we are wronged or wrong another. What matters is our reaction to the circumstances and hand we’re dealt. All these things pertain to a wholly diverse and full life.
Grace can be a call to action, a conjuring of hope. It can bring to mind the web of potential and kindness that bonds and binds us together. Frederick Buechner said: “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. Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid. I am with you. Nothing can ever separate us. It’s for you I created the universe. I love you. There’s only one catch. Like any other gift, the gift of grace can be yours only if you’ll reach out and take it. Maybe being able to reach out and take it is a gift too.” So, reach out and take it, body and soul, blood and breath, embodied and mindful.