Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Exacting Grace

“Grace always shocks.  Grace always stuns.  Grace is always what we need.” 

~Anne Voskamp

In the uncluttering of my spirit, the spring cleaning of my soul, I happened across a memory.  Something long burried in the back of my mind that, with hindsight, I find holds more value than I imagined at the time.  A truth, hidden away when it was too immediate and raw to recognize.  But truth, whenever it is given is always a treasure.  Sometimes one just has to rediscover it.

It had been a dark day.  One of the darker in lengthy memory.  My skin wasn’t racking just yet, calling for the pain to be lanced out of it.  But I was at that precipice.  The swirl of three- day long conversations churning in my mind.  My heart expanding panic, and my spirit tweeking like a meth-freak, unable to sit still, wringing and clawing at the cause of all of this. 

Knowing the conversation had to happen, if I were to ever rest.  Yet more afraid of the other side of those words, the potential of all I stood to lose. 
Barbed Wire Fence in Field, by Paul Mutton

Fences are hard to build.  Necessary to keep what’s important in.  And what’s harmful out.    
I had the conversation.  I swallowed, fear playing Zozobra in my stomach, and said what had to be spoken.  The tread finding purchase on this new road to healing.  Though the path is still entirely uncertain, the journey itself is begun.  Or at least restarted.  If one is honest, it was begun years ago. 

But what is there, after tears?  After boundaries raised, and respected?  There is quiet.  Too much aloneness.

Her e-mail came through, afterward.  These things have a dividing before- and after- effect on the soul.  Like a tornado, when one has lived through enough of them, you can feel them coming through the rain. 

She spoke only of a vivid dream.  “Jesus came to me and told me to email you,” she said.  “He said to tell you, from him,

I accept you.’” 
Tender explanation followed, because she couldn’t know that my heart didn’t need one.  “It was this encompassing I accept all of you--accept your heart, accept your belief, accept your love, and I hold it dear-- way.”  She woke and argued, why not “I love you?”  Why just “accept?”  Then she sent the e-mail anyway.  Because love is obedient. 

But he always knows exactly what to say.
The tears returned, though not the searing kind fraught with worry and pain.  These were cool, to wash the wounds of my soul. 

All of me.  Without reservation.  Without even a pause for breath.  The Yes! that precedes even the question. 

He knew that is what I needed.  Right then.  And not just from him.  But from a temporal mouth as well.  He does not exist alone; he is always* in loving relationship with his Father and the Spirit.  And we are not to exist alone either. 

His answer to my wounds isn’t just unconditional, all-encompassing love and acceptance, though it is enough; his answer is also a relationship.  A fellow warrior to combat the loneliness; to walk beside me, hurting when I hurt, covering me when I’m too broken, and dancing when I am filled with joy.

                A never alone proposition, straight from his heart and her computer.        

 Grace has many expressions.  But it is always just the right one, for precisely the right time. 

May you, dear one, be open to this surprising grace of his.  And may you have someone who is willing to share it with you, even when its forms seem at first blush less than expected. 

Because his sufficiency is exacting.  And his grace-filled love never fails.  For he can create beauty in even the hard places.

*The only moment in eternity when this wasn't true, the dividing, before-and-then-after moment when creation cried out in unison, was on cross.  When the Father turned his face away from the Son, and their eternal communion was broken.  For the sake of every soul ever.  So that those who would choose to accept this grace, might be saved.  And live.


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