“Salvation is a word for divine spaciousness that comes to human beings in all the tight places where their lives are at risk, regardless of how they got there or whether they know God's name. Sometimes it comes as an extended human hand and sometimes as a bolt from the blue, but either way it opens a door in what looked for all the world like a wall. That is the way of life, and God alone knows how it works.”
Barbara Brown Taylor
Salvation is a word that comes with enough baggage to sink a battleship. Every religion on earth claims it and lists the steps in how to achieve it—thou-shalt-not, and thou-must-believe this. But the truth is, salvation is a gift given freely to anyone, even hardened criminals. We don't have to believe certain things, we don't have to participate in certain rituals, we don't have to follow particular leaders, we don't have to scrape and bow—we simply have to live our lives, and remain open to, and aware of, the mystery. That which we call God is beyond any religion and every human foible.
Divine spaciousness is not ours to bestow or withhold. We are loved and understood by that which we call God with all our warts, all our bad habits, all our failings and ugliness. It is we humans who have set out the rules, and posted the requirements for redemption and deliverance. Imagine our surprise when we are blinded by the light even when we've broken all those rules; even when we've disregarded all the holy requirements.
Sometimes that lifeline comes from the most unexpected places—from loss, from isolation, from rejection. In the midst of life's roughest doorways, we can be awash in light and love. We didn't earn it, we didn't deserve it, we didn't even know to ask for it, and yet, there it is—bathing us in the soothing acceptance of compassion. Salvation is God's gift given to anyone whose heart is open enough to receive it.
In the Spirit,