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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Grace--Closer than Skin


Every day we have glimpses of our Higher Self when we enter into what I call a ‘state of grace.’ We suddenly feel peaceful and contented and see beauty around us. These states of grace may last for hours or for just a few seconds. By developing an awareness of them, we can extend the time that we stay in the Higher Self before we fall asleep again and get carried away by the insecure self-cherishing of the ego.”
Joan Borysenko, Ph.D.

The Kingdom is within you and all around you. When you know yourselves fully you will be truly known. And you will know that you are children of the everlasting one.”
Jesus (Gospel of Thomas)

The definition of grace takes up almost a whole column in Webster’s Dictionary. It means so many things: mercy, clemency, pardon, forgiveness, the favor and love of God. I experience grace when I am watching a glorious sunrise from my morning porch, or when the young folks in Spirituality Group are deeply engaged in discussion. I have a visceral experience of grace when I cross paths with a wild creature—like the coyote that saunters about my neighborhood. Recently, I watched three golden eagles land in the trees across the street. It was so unexpected and amazing, that I stood in the middle of the street mesmerized by their size and beauty until they lifted off and flew out of sight. You will recognize this kind of grace when the boundaries of what is you dissolve, time ceases, and you are wholly in the experience. All that is inside of you, and all that is outside of you become one. These are moments of pure bliss and they are a gift. We can’t make them happen and we can’t hang on to them for longer than they choose to stay.

We also know what grace isn’t. It isn’t worrying and fretting over what is lacking in our lives, what we're not able to do or afford, what’s not happening when we want it to happen. Sometimes we get caught up in “ain’t it awful” and “that's not fair,” and then grace is a long way from home. Grace does not wear a frown. In the Gnostic Gospel of Thomas, Jesus tells us if we are not a source of light, we are a source of darkness. There’s no getting around the fact that some days, I radiate darkness! No grace there.

We would experience grace more often if we could love what we already have; if we could look around us and see that this is the Kingdom of Heaven; if we could know ourselves fully and understand that we are children of the everlasting one. Just saying those words to ourselves once a day might bring feelings of inner peace and contentment. And, that’s grace!

                                                             In the Spirit,


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