In an old journal, October 2005, I reflected on the words of Anne Lamotte from her book Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith:
Lamotte writes: “Maybe this is what grace is. The unseen sounds that make you look up. I think it’s why we are here, to see as many chips of blue sky as we can bear. To find the diamond hearts within one another’s meatballs. To notice flickers of the divine, like dust mote on sunbeams in the dusty kitchen. Without all the shade and shadows, you’d miss the beauty of the veil. The shadow is always there, and if you don’t remember it, when it falls on you and your life again, you’re plunged into darkness. Shadows make light show. Without shadows, we’d see only what a friend of mine refers to as ‘all that goddamn light’.”
I think as I read this’ “Yea, easy for you to say, or me, but what about the mother in Iraq?” No sooner does one see the blue sky or the crimson flower than another blast takes a child away. When will grace come to her? It isn’t fair. Not fair at all and it makes me feel guilty for hoarding the grace, as though it is my fault. Do I want some of her pain? No, thank you very much. Thinking of her and feeling a little sad for her is enough.
Perhaps lifting the pain of someone near is one thing I can do (and) maybe the person whose pain I relieve today will help someone tomorrow and that person will reach out the next day and the day after that a blessed person will write a letter to a man serving in Iraq and he will open his eyes to the suffering of one mother and speak out about the horrors of war.
It is all I have, all I have. I don’t want to reject the patches of blue sky or the wiff of a dew damp field because someone else is in to see or smell. That wouldn’t be nice. Maybe seeing more is better. The connectedness – maybe the more I give in to grace, the more likely others thinly connected will see, even a little.