Friday, January 31, 2014


I considered my writing on Grace to be finished, but I must tell one more story.

Some people believe that a higher being is in charge of our lives who will see to our good no matter what.  Then there are people who use terminology to reflect a position that god lives within us and we are the authority of our lives. As more of our society rejects the God of Judeo-Christianity, the questions when does life begin and when does it end are answered in terms of independence and autonomy.

The law of the land increasingly reflects the secular view as unborn children, accidentally brain damaged, and elderly with dementia require money from families and the government to sustain life. Life itself is being redefined; the qualities of personhood transition from creation of a creator to accumulated plasma.

Predominantly Grace is understood as unmerited favor, the moral quality of kindness, the way to transcend the bondage of a mortal body. In most philosophies grace lifts the participant above the common fray, moves the recipient across life’s stage without effort, sustained from inflicting damage on others.

Antonyms of grace such as awkwardness, unkindness, defacing, indicate harm and danger. Humiliation and disgrace diminish rather than enhance.

Whenever “harm and danger” is mentioned we laugh at this story:

Our second year renting half a house, the house was sold by a tough Dutch woman named Susie who visited the States annually but collected her rent monthly. She sold it to a tight-fisted Dutchman who lived in a nearby city. (Yah, vat is?)  He descended on us one Saturday to inform us that our rent was going to be increased while he would do nothing about repairs we had requested of Susie. Furthermore we were to pay every four weeks. My young husband informed Harm, our new landlord’s name, that there would be no rent increase without repair and no extra payments. Period.

The next day being Sunday we went to church and the minister prayed, “Deliver us from harm and danger.” Rather than disrupt the service with our laughter, we escaped out of the sanctuary. Harm and danger has been a family joke ever since.

So I end with an adaptation from Garrison Keillor.  Be well, do good, and spread Grace wherever possible.

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