This morning I didn't make the sun rise, it rose while I slept.
The clouds parted leaving a rainless sunny day, of which I had no control.
My heart beats and my lungs take in air, all without my control.
The grass grows and flowers bloom, not by my word by the Lord's Word.
2000 years before I was spoken into existence, Christ suffered, died and was raised from the dead.
After Christ spoke me into existence, I was born into a Christian family, of which I had no say.
I was baptized as an infant by a Navy Chaplain without my consent.
The Holy Spirit prays within me, calling me home without my power.
All of my life is grace, the entirety of my being is gift.
It is an ever flowing gift from the Lord Jesus Christ.
Praise, humility, joy, wonder, awe, gratefulness, love.
These are but a few of the words which are the response to the ceaseless love and grace which flows from God to me.
Meditating on grace brings me to deep joy and gratefulness for all that I am and all that I have.
This state of grace (my existence and being are grace) fills my heart with love than longs to overflow.
To where should it overflow?
Suffering is the place that love flows to. Christian love flows into the places where sin, death and the devil dwell. The only true way that one can enter into suffering is with a full heart of gratefulness and the ability to see beauty.
Beauty is the natural state of the world, for all that Christ creates is beautiful. Just look at the birds of the air, the grass and the creatures of the land and sea.
With a heart full of love and eyes full of beauty we are able to go to those people and situations that have been scarred the ever present reality of sin, death, decay and evil.
What we are to carry is not ultimately solutions but presence, a presence full of love and beauty. We are to see the beauty in those whose lives have been scarred by life and to whom society has left outside. This is what Jesus did when he spent time with prostitutes. Imagine those places where prostitutes live in our society, that is where Jesus would be....
Jesus went to tax collectors who were thieves, he ate in their homes. Where are the thieves of this world, that is where Jesus would be. What did Jesus bring? He brought the good news of the availability of the kingdom of God. This kingdom of love, forgiveness and new life was available to tax collectors, prostitutes, fishermen, religious leaders, lepers, epileptics, the demon possessed, gentiles and Samaritans.
Jesus' heart contiunally flows with mercy, love and the ability to see beauty in all. Jesus is able to see the beauty in everything and everyone because all of creation came into being through him and each person is spoken into being by his word. He loves what is his own, loves them enough to suffer and die to redeem his children....
This is the mission of all who bear His name...To see the beauty of Christ in all of creation. One of the greatest gifts we can offer is the ability to bring love to where there was only hate, joy to where there was only suffering and mercy to where there was only punishment.
Humanity is crying out for reconciliation and for a loving presence in their pain. As we realize that our existence is only grace it unites us to all of creation and calls us forth into solidarity with all of God's world. For our prayer is not simply our prayer. When we truly pray we are united to the world who is longing for their return to God and to a restoration to the garden of Eden.
Let us push aside the things that keep us from hearing the prayer of Christ in our lives. Let us see grace in all that we are and all that we do. Let move into the world with hearts full of gratefulness and eyes filled with beauty. Let us not be afraid of suffering. Let us enter into suffering for that is where we will find Christ calling to be ministered to...