The curtains were just not the right color that afternoon. Therefore there was no reason to stay any further.
The next morning, the family portraits on that mantel seemed too exuberant. Therefore this one will never do.
An overly-friendly neighbor offering to open the gate; the locust trees in front not maturing quickly enough; the lack of four-door cars on the Boulevard – all perfectly good reasons not to settle here and call this place home. There were simply too many things not exactly perfect in this house; on this block; in this neighborhood. Why wasn’t everyone fixing all these terrible problems immediately? Did they forget all the rules? Did they run out of time? Or could they just not see all these terrible problems?
Surely, these sole-proprietors and residents have been warned before. It is obvious things cannot continue at this tragic rate and in this uncivilized manner. Therefore it all must be destroyed again. Everything must be burnt to the ground and they should start from the beginning. They have not followed the proper rules and instructions. And therefore, Grace will have no place and time for them.
Grace was the gangster’s daughter who ordered everything burnt to the ground… for their own sake, of course.
She once saw a beautiful little town in the midst of magnificent mountains where people had hopes and dreams. And she believed the people had the right to make the most of their lives. But if people in that town didn’t like or want Grace, there was nothing she could do about that. Grace is a lost traveler. Grace is a metaphor. It’s an unmerited favor. It’s immunity; a manner of forgiveness; a pardon. Grace was also a 15th century Dominican monk who sold indulgences in exchange for saved souls. And on occasion, it is even a prayer; a reprieve, a state and an act.
Most of the time, grace can only be given or offered from a position of power. Even when an opportunity presents itself, we have to arrive at a judgment of the situation beforehand – a moral judgment. It’s unavoidable. We cannot help ourselves to be arrogant sometimes when our instincts poke and prod at us with our individual righteousness, opinions and tastes based on our different experiences. Perhaps someone else’s curtains were not the wrong color, or their family portraits not too exuberant after all.
And even if I can still judge and hold firm my opinions, the point is not having to do so.
I will never arrive at grace if I cannot even substitute my judgment with a sign of compassion. We do not arrive at Love when everything feels wonderful and the future holds unlimited promise – That’s just joy. We reach Love when we are challenged, but still believe there is that sustainable joy ahead.. and we choose to proceed towards it. The manner in which we proceed, I believe shows us who has grace.
Arguably, grace is not essential at all to acquire what we want… what we need. I don’t even honestly know if I need or want Grace in my life. But, at the risk of confirming my own arrogance, I think I deserve some of it.
Well, that was ungraceful of me! What the Hell… I can always buy an Indulgence.