Saturday, June 27, 2015

Grace

After a long silence, I am sitting down to write something, and what I can think of is this one word:  Grace.

It has been almost a month since my last sermon, and I feel at the same time a little rusty and also urgent.  It will be a new pulpit, in a church called Grace.  When I stood in the pulpit this afternoon, just to practice and see how it felt, I will admit:  it felt odd.  It felt like I needed an inch or more on the bottoms of my shoes, perhaps.  I felt like I might have to stretch, just a little, to fit.

(Now I am remembering back to my teaching parish in seminary, where they gave me a stool to stand on.  This certainly enhanced the preaching experience in certain areas.  I also remember that in my internship congregation, they actually had a platform that they slid into the pulpit, so that it would be the right size for me.)

After a long silence, I am sitting down to write something, and what I can think of is this one word:  Grace.

I've been on the road and disoriented and unsettled and I haven't written in this venue for over a week.  Sometimes it seems so harder to write than not to write, especially since some of the things I have been thinking about this past week have been weighty ones:  racism, and violence, and my own complicity:  the shame of knowing that I have not said enough, the necessity of listening more truthfully and owning what it is hard to hear.  It seems petty and little to blog instead about moving to a new state and and all the big and small fears and dreams contained within.  So, for over a week, I have said nothing.

But the word that I want to say before I retire this evening is still:  Grace.

A while ago, I said Yes to a church called Grace, in a state that I had not visited before.  I prayed and I discerned and I made lists and I talked to people, and still, sometimes, I wonder if I was not crazy.

And then I think:  at the bottom, at the very foundation of everything, beneath the "yes" that I was courageous or foolish enough to say, God called me here.  And that calling is Grace.

I have been thinking a lot about grace.  I have always counted on it.  It is my favorite thing.  The grace of second, third, or infinite chances, the grace of living again, when you thought you were dead, the grace of the unexpected, unasked for gift, the grace of undeserved love.  Grace has many faces.  But I will admit that I never thought of my calling as Grace.

I'll admit that it doesn't feel like grace in every single moment.  Sometimes it feels like sheer terror.  But it is grace to be called here.

Amazing grace.

It is possible that I will have to stretch a little, to fit.

3 comments:

Crimson Rambler said...

oh my goodness -- GRACIOUS... Thank you for this!

MARY LeGRAND said...

Along with Grace is Trust. When we Trust God's Grace, we truly realize how precious His gifts are, especially when we undeerstand they are given freely. We only have to say yes and trust. I can remember when we made a decision to move overseas for work. I awoke the next morning asking myself if I had just made a stupid decision and was crazy. But I trusted God's wisdom and it was a great decision and opened my eyes to His grace all over the world. His grace goes beyond our American borders and we fail to realize it. Living the Grace of God and trusting in His Wisdom -- that's what Grace Lutheran did when they called you here.

Leslie Lim said...

You really have an awesome blog. You doing great and I really love it. Thanks for posting. God bless.

Zean
www.imarksweb.org