Grace Is Here
I signed into a monthly Zoom call that has become routine over this last year. There they were. . . women I have known well over a decade, women with whom I have shared heartbreak, successes, laughter, honesty and hope. On the screen looking back at me were a Karen and Caryl, a Jen, a couple of Nancys and a Jane. I fell happily into all the waving hellos as our reconnecting laughter led us into brief accounts of our separate lives. Joy was in the room . . . without being called forward by name, but naturally occurring in the presence of loving care.
We talked that afternoon about the works of 20th century gifted, black writer and activist, James Baldwin. I shared how much his poetry touched me. Much of what I read was uplifting, as if he was resurrecting love . . . as if he were saying: regardless of the overwhelming hurt and humiliation I’ve suffered at the hands of this broken, unjust caste system, love remains within the human soul. Here’s a bit of what I read to them.
love has no gifts to give
except the revelation that the soul can live:
on a coming day,
you will hear, from afar,
I, your lover, pray.
You will hear, then, the prayer that you cannot hear now,
and, when you hear that sobbing, boy, rejoice,
and know that love is the purpose of the human voice!”
What hopeful lines . . . love’s greatest gift is the “revelation that the soul can live”; and “love is the purpose of the human voice”. A few days later I began writing this blog which was first meant to be about the uncomplicated joy that seems to naturally follow when love is present. That was the same afternoon the news flooded in that Boulder, a neighboring community, had become the latest site of a horrific mass shooting. Writing about uncomplicated joy in a season once again visited by fear and grief no longer fit. I needed something bigger, something that holds a myriad of emotions . . . like Grace.
In reality, neither joy nor pain is ever uncomplicated. We live intricate, messy lives. Life’s happenings – all things intensely joyful or profoundly despairing, and everything in between – all exist within the human condition, and as such will always be layered with complexities. That truth led me to today’s more fitting purpose: no matter the circumstances, Grace is here, with arms wide open enough to hold the joyful, the fearful, the bereft and beyond.
Grace, at its essence, is soul-inspired love – divine, pure and accessible. Through expressions of love we bring it to life. It’s the happiness of laughing, nonjudgmental friendship, the gratitude of unexpected kindnesses, the ability to extend and feel mercy, the compassionate service to others drowning in unfathomable grief, the miracle of forgiving the unforgivable.
Always ready to participate as love’s work, the soul’s grace is present . . . whether our heart laughs aloud for no particular reason, or cries out in the pain of terrible loss. When we believe grace is here . . . as close as our own breath, a revelation of love flowing from our own souls into our purpose for speaking and being, all is possible