Yes, crazy, holy Grace.
Like crazy, wild Wisdom; or radical presence; or holy listening — like a weird-in-a-good-way kind of Sacred Scrabble game that beckons us into a full-sensory exploration, adventure, and living-into of the Words.
My kind of words and my kind of game, bubbling up from that deep yearning for a kind of re-energized experience with what’s become rote and bland otherwise.
Crazy, holy grace.
Those are the words of Frederick Buechner, who also had a holy-homesickness for the original, Life-infused meaning and full-hearted, felt-pulse of power-Words that had become rote and more likely to be stuck onto a bumper-sticker than deeply explored or god-forbid, lived into.
In his book, The Sacred Journey, Frederick Buechner wrote, “…through flaws and fissures in the bedrock harshness of things, there wells up from time to time, out of a deeper substratum of reality still, a kind of crazy, holy grace.”
Beverly Lanzetta, in her moxie-full book, Radical Wisdom, similarly writes about “the low places where grace flows in.”
From the “flaws and fissures in the bedrock harshness of things” and those “low places” — the places where we’re laid low, broken open, where our learned-answers are useless — that’s where the grace bubbles up and flows in.
Buechner, also in The Sacred Journey, tells of a time when he’s told, “You have to face reality,” and the reality that was under discussion was really about the normalizing of harshness.
We see this a lot right now … just read, watch, or listen to the ‘news’ — it’s like a worship service devoted to the god of normalized ugliness and harshness.
About this unfortunate yet ‘normal’ advice about accepting ‘reality as harshness’, Buechner writes,
“But when it comes to putting broken lives back together … the human best tends to be at odds with the holy best. To … grit your teeth and clench your fists in order to survive the world at its harshest and worst — is, by that very act, to be unable to let something be done for you and in you that is more wonderful still. The trouble with steeling yourself against the harshness of reality is that the same steel that secures your life against being destroyed secures your life also against being opened up and transformed by the holy power that life itself comes from.”
To let the grace bubble up and flow in, we have to unsteel ourselves, drop the armor that we’ve created against the harshness, or at least let it be cracked. Wabi Sabi imperfection that’s strong at the broken places.
I don’t know about you, but I ultimately found that keeping that armor in place, normalizing harshness, steeling myself against it was spectacularly exhausting.
So I’m living into this holy and radical experiment now: That perhaps it’s okay — better even — to be cracked and broken, unarmored and unsteeled — and thus bathed in the waters and flow of grace.
Thanks for reflecting and Musing with me.
Big Love & Grace Aplenty,
Give and Receive …
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February 28, 2014 at 5:10 am
Yes, wearing ‘the armor’ can be a good defense mechanism for situations that warrant that protection, such as abusive/power differentials, where being more vulnerable and open would only cause more infliction and pain to the recipient (unless this is called for in the situation-sometimes it is best to show vulnerability).
Living in this armored state perpetually, is exhausting and inauthentic, and often leads a person to live in a reactive state of being, and to suppress unexpressed needs and wants, that eventually must find an escape. How many people venting have ended up in mental institutions, or behind bars, a sort of forced incarceration? This of course can lead to grace, yet often psychiatric medication suppresses that natural embracing of the ‘shaman within’.
However, recognising that armor is in place, is the first step to dismantling it, and the beginning of living in a state of natural grace and beingness. This takes courage!
Knowing what part to play-according to the situation at hand- and knowing when one is acting or not, is imperative! For acting to save face with honesty is still authentic! But, to act to manipulate or to gain something at anothers’ expense is not! Thus, learning what is ‘real’ and what is ‘fabrication’ is essential to a state of grace. Many do not know the difference, nor do they want too, as then they would have to give up their self-serving ways and their mass conscious motivations!
It is far too painful for many to leave their cozy conditioned states and social mores. Maybe it is consciousness thing, “when the student is ready, the teacher will appear”(even if it is the inner teacher) and the majority are just not ready for that leap! We can but hope!