grace (3)

One evening this winter I sat in the hot tub and watched the darkening evergreens and the winter evening’s cotton candy sky above the dimming landscape. I looked up at the clouds and picked out their morphing shapes. I kept watching that sky of subtle reds and pinks and purples, quiet oranges and yellows, above the stoic and silhouetted trees.

“Who and where you are right now is okay. It’s okay to be who and where you are. It’s okay.” I hear.

“The world is so full of grace.” I say.

I lead a quiet life. I’ve learned to accept it. Somehow I know God’s led me here, and is leading me still. How much further? “Further. Further still.” This unpredictable evening in a hot tub a reminder—the Spirit hovers where it will and comes when and how it pleases. Without conjuring, in the absence of rites and rituals, apart from begging and beckoning. Silent and still I reveled in the unanticipated encounter as I watched the resilient trees so straight and tall absorb the wind and dance the evening away and the colors spread across the sky coming from nowhere and returning to nothing as darkness fell. Listening without realizing. Suddenly hearing. Praying for no reason at all. For once meaning it. What other word is there but grace? The Spirit hovered over these waters as it did over ancient ones. The Spirit entered and filled this void as it did at the beginning. More than the water I sat in the Spirit covered, drenched, saturated (is there a word to tell it?) me with inexplicable grace. I wasn’t looking for it and I didn’t ask for it. But then my heart opened up and the Spirit came and I saw the world full and not empty. Without kneeling my whole being was kneeling under the absolution of grace, thick and gentle, comforting and kind, all consuming and accepting, subtle yet powerful.

I don’t recall much of what I heard or many of the words I prayed. But I recall vividly the presence of grace that gave.

These moments are rare. Yet somehow they are always.

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