Tuesday, January 20, 2009

So This Is His Grace...

"God calls us throughout our life to severe grace, the grace of the cocoon. We are called to separate from the old, to die in order to be reborn. If we open ourselves to this severe grace, we encounter God in new places: in the cyclone, in the dark, in the crisis that shatters our old confining consciousness. It is this severity that makes us new."
-Sue Monk Kidd

When I was six, my grandfather took my brother and me to the local carnival where the rides are put together in a store parking lot in just a matter of hours and you wonder who in their right mind would really get on one of them. My brother chose the "Spider" which was a ride that went around and around while the bucket seats at the end of each spider leg would spin. And spin. And spin. I do not like to spin. This was the moment in my young life when this revelation came to me. The ride began and thus began my screaming. I screamed for the entire duration, begging the man running the ride to PLEASE LET ME OFF!!! He did not and it was then that I realized that there are consequences for the choices you make in life.

Fast forward thirty-four years and there you find me on another of life's rides that seemed safe, nonthreathening, benign even from the ground but once strapped in and the motion began, then came the moment of yet another fit of screaming. "I want to encounter you in familiar places, GOD!!!!!!!!!!" "You tricked me!!!!!" "I am not talking to YOU anymore, and I mean it!"

What? You don't talk to God like that? I know, it is irreverent, but I just figure that He knows what I think so I might as well get it all out there. He has never minded my honesty. It is I who mind His. Sometimes. And yet this past weekend I was thankful for His honesty as I stilled myself long enough to hear Him talking to me. And this is what I discovered. I don't really understand the love of God. I had thought that, to some degree, I did. I was wrong. As He "shatters my old, confining consciousness", I am finding that He plans to make me new, yet again. I don't know what this means this time. But I will surely keep you posted.