We Are Not Echoes
Sunday mornings for me are usually spent reflecting on some thought or theory I might have had bouncing around in my head the week prior. This week my question to myself was, “How am I to be a reflection of God’s grace to those I meet in the world?”.
My mind drew me to the questions of how others are in need. It drew me to what I have that others might be in need of. I drew me, eventually, to those times in my life I was in need. When God met me where I was, with what I needed at the time. I was embarrassed when I realized there were very few times that I had prayed for some physical relief and was then relieved.
When I am stumped or perplexed (and it happens often), I step out onto my front porch and think. In the budding daylight, as I made my way to the porch, I noticed on the driveway two birds. Chirping. Gathering material for some nest somewhere. I kept thinking and worrying that I had not asked God for things and may have missed what was given to me. One of the birds hopped over to the porch close to where I stood worrying that the things I have were not given because I constantly petitioned and gave thanks.
Then I remembered. “Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” Jesus said that (though most likely not in Old English). Then back to my original question of how to be a reflection of God’s grace… I decided that I should not. I decided that God had not called me to be His or Her reflection. That all those with needs that are not my own are not my problem.
But they are my opportunity. I am not a reflection of the Divine. I am a part of the Divine. And the Divine is a part of me. We are parts of the same vine which might provide food and shelter. We are a part of the same voice that might encourage. The same ear that might listen to woes. We are a part of the same heart that might share the joys of others for others’ sake. We are not an echo of the voice of some religious leader that lived so many years ago. We are participants in the healing of a broken world.
So I quoted Jesus. Now I will quote Kris Kristofferson.
“Broken babies. Broken homes. Broken hearted people dying everyday. How’d this happen? What went wrong? “Don’t blame God.”
I swear to God I heard Him say. “Not in My Name. Not on My Ground. I want nothing but the ending of the war. No more killing. Or it’s over. And the Mystery won’t matter anymore.”
We have made a mess of things, yet there continues to be grace.
We are not echoes of God’s grace. We are simultaneously the reason grace is needed and the way grace is conveyed. Both the problem and the solution. The thing about Grace is that it concentrates on the possibilities and not the reasons it was needed. The good thing about God is that whether you know it or not, whether you are grateful or not, whether you ask or not, grace has found you. Give it away.