I am wrestling with this question all day today.
In the wake of Violence, Anger, Death, Blood and Rage, how does GRACE fit in the picture? Does it even matter? How? Why?
Suddenly talking or thinking about Grace, Compassion, Kindness and Love in the midst of senseless violence and tragedies seems like a big fat joke. It’s like preaching that unicorns are real and that we’re living in a world of butterflies, bunnies and rainbows. Let’s talk JUSTICE!
I felt JUSTIFIED in feeling what I felt, liking what I liked on FB, thinking what I thought in private, and saying what I said in public. For me. the reactions of fear, anger and furious demonstrations against this act of violence is the Normal and Healthy thing to do! GRACE is irrelevant!
But to my growing annoyance, a still, calm, voice from within keeps stirring and nudging me on, to go deeper still, and find a place for Grace.
I had to wrestle back. But does GRACE even have a place in reality?!
I was silenced for a while… as I am gradually reminded of my recent experience at a Silent Retreat in Chiang Mai. Free from the usual distractions and addictions-day after day, night after night-I was Awakening to my unconscious roots of Bitterness, Anger and Rage.
Our inner struggles were gently revealed, through meditation, Scriptures, prayers, journalling, dreams and personal Spiritual Direction sessions.
What I found most healing through these times of Awakening was the gentle experience of Grace. The feeling and knowing that my Darkness does not put out or put off the Light. But that Grace embraces ALL I AM.
In these times of Awareness, I was constantly reminded of Jean Valjean in Les Miserables, and how he was redeemed by Grace. There was so much Anger, Bitterness and Hate in him, and he is justified in feeling so. But he was given a way out of his pit of despair. He found a whole new life story.
“For I had come to hate this world
This world that always hated me
Take an eye for an eye!
Turn your heart into stone!
This is all I have lived for!
This is all I have known!
One word from him and I’d be back
Beneath the lash, upon the rack
Instead he offers me my freedom,
…Another story must begin!” Valjean’s Soliloquy, Les Miserables.
I am reminded that the ones who would understand the Value of Grace in the midst of Violence, Anger, Death, Blood and Rage are the ones who have taken a long, hard look in the mirror and recognised the Violent, in themselves. The Killer, in themselves. The Rage and Anger, in themselves.
It is those who have seen and recognise that their true source of Pain, is the Pain within.
It is through the Awareness of our deepest darkness, that we understand how Grace–the unmerited Kindness, Compassion, Patience and Love extended to us while we’re stuck in this place–can redeem us again.
It is through the Awareness that we too have been a Source of Pain and cause others Pain, that we see where Grace has shown up for us and helped us to see, acknowledge, heal and grow through the pain.
“But the question is, how can people be with their pain?
Only if they sense some compassion from somebody. As another teacher says, only when Compassion is present will people allow themselves to see the truth,” Dr. Gabor Maté.
It’s when Grace is present in spite of ourselves, that we will find the courage to see the truth of ourselves, and seek the help we need to heal, and grow for the better. There is a place for Grace in this world.
It is the path to Freedom.
And it begins with YOU.
“Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours.”- Swedish Proverb
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