Grace in the Cracks of Everything

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Ring the bells that still can ring

Forget your perfect offering

There is a crack in everything

That’s how the light gets in.

–Leonard Cohen

This month in America, as we celebrate our country’s birth, I can’t help but think about the big crack in the Liberty Bell. It seems the right metaphor for our cracked nation. Our beloved patriotic songs catch in our throats as the fissures that divide us grow deeper and the gash in our democracy grows worrisome and the sense of decency we once took for granted becomes fractured on a daily basis. Our ability to face the enormity of the crack and to cry hot tears into its depth is part of what it means to be fully human; but that’s not the whole story, as the late Leonard Cohen reminds us.

Cohen would offer, in his inimitable way, the upside of the crack: the light that gets in. We could name it grace—that pure light streaming through the cracks of imperfection, helping us catch vivid glimpses of something greater than our brokenness. . . .

 . . . . The rest of this essay called “G is for Grace” can be found at Spirituality & Practice, and also at Open Horizons. 

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Join us on a Special Lenten Journey

quotes--Nine-Promises-of-LeJoin us on the journey. At your pace, in your own time. The beauty of an e-course is flexibility. The Practice Circle opens today! Click here to learn more! http://www.spiritualityandpractice.com/ecourses/course/view/10218/nine-promises-of-lent

See you there!

New Lenten e-course–with a process flair!

So happy to announce that I will be joining process theologian Jay McDaniel in a co-taught Lenten e-course at Spirituality & Practice.  Join us on a Lenten journey into a deeper experience of the God of persuasive love in a web-like world of inter-becoming.  Share with your congregations, too!  Click here and read all about it:  http://www.spiritualityandpractice.com/ecourses/course/view/10218/nine-promises-of-lent

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Hope to see you there!

Blessings and Peace,

Patricia

Let Us Drink a Cup of Tea

Yes, the world may aspire to vacuousness, lost souls mourn beauty, insignificance surrounds us. Then let us drink a cup of tea. Silence descends, one hears the wind outside, autumn leaves rustle and take flight, the cat sleeps in a warm pool of light. And, with each swallow, time is sublimed.” ― Muriel Barbery, The Elegance of the Hedgehog

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Oh, how comforting it is to brew a pot of tea when the temperature falls!   I enjoy discovering  metaphoric beauty–infused with little process theology–in ordinary things, like a single cup of tea. I hope you enjoy my latest process musing at Spirituality & Practice“Let Us Drink a Cup of Tea.”

 

The Great Pregnancy

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During Advent, we wait for Christmas in the glow of burning candles: flames that stretch up into the darkness, as if in passionate plea. Our spirits burn, too, for we long for fresh manifestations of Christmas — tiny bursts of hope, swaddled in vulnerability and gentleness. Our waiting becomes almost an ache, a prayerful yearning for goodness and compassion to be reborn into our world of injustice, division, and fear.

We wait like Mary in her pregnancy, holding candles in the darkness. We wait together in our homes, our churches, our communities. This candle-bearing community — the Beloved Community — bears witness to a God who is for us and with us and in our very personal yearnings for peace and wholeness.

Click here to read the entire post at Spirituality & Practice 🙂

 

“G” is for Gratitude

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Gratitude in these days?

Is it appropriate to be grateful in times as perilous as these? Our planet is in crisis, unending wars rage on, the gap between rich and poor grows wider, gun violence escalates, and white supremacists grow bolder. Does gratitude make us too content with the way things are? Isn’t “counting our blessings” simply too indulgent for times like these?

On the contrary, gratitude might just be our savior in such times as these. Where else can our energy come from to “be the change” if, like flailing fish, we get hooked on despair or rage? Of course, despair and rage are perfectly natural for caring people in the face of such horrors as the plague of gun violence in America. But to be vigilant for change, despair is simply not an option, and rage must be channeled into action.

Gratitude can help us get our bearings once again, for it grounds us in mindfulness, opening fresh possibilities for creativity and change. For without gratitude, fiery fall trees would be lost on us, and so would the taste of apples or the touch on the arm of a caring friend. Without gratitude, we would hardly know what we are so passionate about saving or changing or reforming; without gratitude we would fall prey to the darkness around us. Joy, the offspring of gratitude, would be only a distant memory. But as the poet Jack Gilbert says, “We must have the courage to accept our gladness in the ruthless furnace of this world.” Perhaps, then, gratitude is a form of resistance.

Read my entire essay at “Process Musings, a blog of spiritualityandpractice.com

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

“D” is for Devotion

The Spiritual Alphabet continues!   What does your devotional life look like?  In this essay, I explore a few ways to nourish our souls in these loud and troubling times, but as Rumi says, “There are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the ground; there are a thousand ways to go home again.”  Hope you enjoy my latest “process musing” at Spirituality & Practice.     http://www.spiritualityandpractice.com/blogs/posts/process-musings

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