Friday, September 4, 2009

Caught off guard by grace...

I'm reading a really good book, but it's taking me a long time to get through it. It's called "When the Heart Waits - Spiritual Direction for Life's Sacred Questions" by Sue Monk Kidd and it's one of those books where I have to read a little then think a lot. The book itself (as the title suggests) is about the lost spiritual art of waiting, so maybe my pace is appropriate.

I feel like the book is a tea bag and I'm a cup of hot water, and sometimes it just takes a while for the flavor to gain full strength and permeate my feeble mind and heart. (Sorry, I'm not that great at metaphors.)

Anyway, there were a few passages recently that have rolled around in my head and I thought I'd share them. One passage talks about being "caught off guard" by so many things about God...

"The immense, unreasonable love for us, the outrageous insistence that in the weak and broken there is divine Presence, the indomitable faith in us as children of hope, to mention a few. But most of all, I'm caught off guard by God's grace-fulness, by a grace-ful universe, by the grace of the ordinary. We've underestimated the presence of grace among us. We've built up a callus over it with our cynicism and the religious certainties that render us incapable of being surprised. If we are to wait, we must relearn the extravagance of grace."
She also quotes Eugene Peterson (author, Presbyterian minister and translator of The Message) in talking about the motivation behind "waiting prayer":

"The assumption of spirituality is that always God is doing something before I know it. So the task is not to get God to do something I think needs to be done, but to become aware of what God is doing so that I can respond to it and participate and take delight in it."
And in contemplating the posture of Mary, sitting at the feet of Jesus, she writes:

"What has happened to the experience of sacred adoration, of sitting and delighting in God's presence in the fiery place of the heart? God created us in order to share the delight of being alive with us, in order to love us and taste our love, to delight in us and enjoy our delight. God wants our hearts..."


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