Friday, August 6, 2010

Grace Grace Grace Grace Grace Grace Grace Grace Grace Grace Grace

Nothing about my life is perfect right now.

For example:  recently I've been having trouble doing my most regular form of exercise, walking the dog.  My heel hurts, sometimes terribly, and I end up limping like I'm about 30 years older than my actual age.  I haven't been to the doctor yet, but I think I have something called plantar faschiatis.   

I'm knitting another pair of socks, in the odd moment or two, at the end of long days.  I'm still working the basic pattern, with different colors and weights of yarn.  The first pair came out all right, except the kitchener stitch.  The second pair, with exactly the same pattern, stretched out way too big.  The third pair are not exactly the same length.  They all have the little holes that I haven't learned how to correct, although I've tried a few suggestions.  None of these socks are monstrosities, but, they aren't perfect either.

As everyone knows, my dog is also not perfect (although there are times when I think she is nevertheless, the best part of my life).  She was Possessive as a puppy and, although she's much better now, she still has Issues.

I'm currently serving a church in a first-ring suburb, a church in a changing neighborhood, a community with growing diversity, poverty, a growing immigrant population.  I find many things about this stimulating.  I want to be a part of a church that is diverse in age, ethnic heritage, race.  But, this is easier said than done.  So, my congregation is not perfect.  (I'm not either, so I suppose it's a good fit.)

I'm thinking a lot about social justice, the call to do justice in our community, to stand against racism, to stand for equity, to work on behalf of the little ones.  I believe in this.  I try to do it.  I fail a lot.  Sometimes I feel like quitting.  I especially want all children, no matter who they are, who their parents are, where they are from, to have a chance to thrive.

But deep down, what I'm really passionate about, even more than justice, is grace.

Nothing about my life is perfect.  I'm not going to do all the things I want to do with my life (although I still habor a couple of hopes).  I'm going to keep failing, and I need the courage to get up and keep trying, despite my aching feet, despite my roomy socks, despite my church full of sinners (like me).  And the over-the-top, never-ending, over-flowing grace of God is the only thing I know that gives me enough courage to keep going.  The only thing. 

Grace -- God's love to those who waste their whole lives, to those who try with good intentions, to the clueless and the earnest, to the mean and the lowly and the hopeless and those clinging to false hopes.  God's love to Marcus Borg-loving liberals and tongues-speaking Pentecostals and everyone in between. 

I have to preach grace.  But then, say, "Just do it."  Do justice.  Love kindness.  Fail at it, but do it.

After all, what have you got to lose?

"Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom."


ROBERTA said...

oh diane, i've had that plantar fasciatis and it's not fun. but hang in there it will eventually go away...good orthotics and good supportive shoes are a must but you will have to say goodbye to flip flops...sigh...

love ya,

Elaine Dent said...

beautiful writing and reflection. Thank you.

Robin said...

I haven't had PF for a long time, but I used to get it frequently. It has a lot of staying power and the only place I found relief was creek hiking! icy cold water over that burning arch.

Beautiful reflection, some of which is going to make it into next week's sermon, implicitly if not explicitly.

Rev SS said...

yes, thx for the beautiful reflectionn (and I'm sorry you have to deal with the PF)

Hot Cup Lutheran said...

oh my goodness... take care of those feet! a life that can provide spaces of grace for self and others is surely a life worth living...

Trix's Mix said...

Only one perfect one ever and we strive to be like Him! Although not perfect, so grateful to be forgiven - He gives us courage, wisdom and as you say, grace to continue working for Him in a broken world...
Praying with your for good health in every way as the workers are few.
All the best Diane!

Unlikely said...

Amen Trix. You said it so well.
Keep up the good work Diane even though your body, church, and life are not so perfect God's love is all encompassing.

PS (PSanafter-thought) said...

Yes, and more grace. You can't have too much peach nor too much grace.