I would like to write about 3 graces in my life right now. Not the 3 Graces of Greek Mythology called the three goddesses of nature: Aglaia (brilliance), Thalia (flowering), and Euphorosyne (joy); rather I would speak of three ways that Grace is in my life at this time of the year.
From my hours in the classroom studying, I never seemed to be able to fully grasp the concept of God’s Grace. I just wrestled all the time with any papers that had to be written on the topic. It is considered a rather female topic in the realm of Christian Theology and so the BIG GUYS just about never go deeply into the idea and pass on its relativity to the human spirit to the Pastoral Counseling Gurus.
Now part of the wrestle is because I confused things as a child in my religion and polity classes, such as I always thought I would know God because HIS name was HOWARD. You know the Lord’s Prayer starts out with “Our Father, which art in Heaven, Howard be thy name…” (Hallowed is how it is written in the Bible). I had that old prayer memorized a long time before I could read.
One day I met Howard, and I just knew I was wrong!
So Grace was my Great Auntie, who was short and old, and the person who lived next door to my Grandparents with her brother because she did not have enough money to provide a living. So being told I was full of God’s Grace, just meant to me that the Heavenly Spirit was loving me, no matter what, and this was a good thing, because apparently I was not a very loveable child – asking too many questions and not getting my work done well.
In counseling classes, I learned that Grace is the power within us to love ourselves for who we are, the power to recognize our transgressions giving us forgiveness and “grace as the constructive empowerment for new life and growth.”
I have found turning 60 has provided me with empowerment, growth and forgiveness of sterling silver value. Grace is the powerful love that enables me to make changes in my life, reveals to me my actions, deeds and historic stories which entrap me and entice me to remain static, and then grace releases me with forgiveness so I can find peace or surrender and explore the “gifts” I have received.
The second concept of Grace is that of the prayer before a meal. This ritual began in the desert climes as a cautionary practice to ward off food poisoning. If you have been out working in the fields or hot sun all day, having you feet washed (face and hands too) was a sign of respect for your hard efforts and a removal of the “muck” of the world. If you paused and offered prayers and calmness before you began eating, this allowed for your physical body to adjust from fasting mode in the heat to absorbing mode in the shade or coolness.
When my children were growing we sang Grace before meals and conversation. It brought us focus and drew us together as a family. We took notice of what was spread out before us. Our favorites were singing rounds which drew our voices together like a casserole of flavors.
Finally I am thinking about the Grace that is given to me in the form of my talents – gifts. I am able to write the words upon this form. I can create something new, beautiful, elegant and gracious. I have a gift of healing and integrating ideas in new and construction directions. I can meet my needs – rarely alone, so I am able to bring together a team effort.
I think gratitude is the expression of Grace Recognized in the self or the other and the acknowledgement of that recognition – taking notice.
I am gratefully acknowledging the gifts that have been bestowed upon me and my endeavors this season. I am grateful for the food of the garden, the words of comment, the readers of my efforts, the gleaners of recipes, and the enthusiastic support – it is surely a Gracious Cake that is set before me on this table. Thank you – each and every one.
Love to hear the stories of your Gracious Cake in this season of Gratitude.
Other related posts you might enjoy:
Hats Off to Two Wonderful World Changing Men and the Books About Them
To Be Of Use
House Gratitude in Focus
Hats Off to The Ladies of The Club