Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Easter 25 Grace

“My father was very sure about certain matters pertaining to the universe. To him all good things-trout as well as eternal salvation-come by grace and grace comes by art and art does not come easy.”
― Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through It and Other Stories 

A prayer before a meal. 

The way a dancer moves. 

The unmerited favor of God. 

Art---creation---may not come easy (sometimes it does and that's another grace) but that art exists at all is a grace. 

I have a friend who is always amazed---and a little bit disillusioned----when I talk about how much work goes into a performance or a text. She wants to believe that these things are the product of talent, an easy flow of a gift. 

I always say that whatever grace we receive costs. It doesn't cost the one who receives the grace, but it costs someone else, somewhere else. Perhaps its fair to say that when she sees a graceful performance, reads a text full of grace, she is the recipient of a grace that cost someone else much work. 

Here in the middle of Easter, I think of the grace of the gospels, of the stories we've received of Jesus, of the resurrection and the promise of abundant life. I think about what these may have cost others along the way. 

Then there is the way we may be in the depths of suffering and the least romantic sort of despair and some glimmer of hope arrives, graceful and sustaining. 

I also think about the times when I'm deeply engaged in writing or performing and the grace that comes from the work itself.

I think about grace and the ways that it surprises and makes questionable sense and is free and costly and there.

 Alleluia, grace is here.

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