Monday, April 5, 2010

"Ordinary" Grace - 1

This looks to be a post-Lent Lent, in the sense that I'm going to try as an intentional spiritual practice to be more attentive to and grateful for all that I take for granted, most of which I view out of a lens warped by loss. (And warped by other frustrations as well; for example, the fact that I am still way too tired to get much outside enjoyment out of yet another incredibly beautiful day. At least I can see all of the green exploding into life all around me, and I'll be able to feel the warmth of the sunshine when I go out in a bit.)


Where I am going in an hour or so is to meet with someone whom I've recently begun to accompany through the Ignatian Exercises. I can hardly believe that the fact that I'm writing it down here means that I have begun to take even that for granted. In my own life, there are two huge before-and-afters: Josh's death, and making the Exercises. I don't see how I would be surviving the former in the way that I am without the latter. What an enormous grace and privilege this is for me: to share in someone's unfolding encounter with God, to offer the gift of a tradition of 450 years and to receive in return the confidence and trust that enables a person to explore the ways in which it calls out of the present, and to share in a partnership in which God is so clearly at work.

Maybe not so entirely ordinary, huh?


  1. Nothing in the least bit ordinary about you or this upcoming experience, Robin.

  2. Maybe it's the new ordinary.

    Where we come to life in a totally different way ... and feel as if we are there for the first time.

    There is a poem, somewhere deep in my mind, when I find it, I'll post it. About touching on new land.

    What an honor, to be a companion on the way. I find that a humbling, awe-filled spot.

  3. Robin -

    These are parts of two poems that I have found particularly apt. When coming to the new life, the one after.

    “I have a feeling that my boat has struck, down there in the depths, against a great thing. And nothing happens!

    Nothing ... Silence ... Waves.

    Nothing happens?

    Or Has everything Happened and we are standing now, quietly, in the new life?”

    - Juan Ramon Jimenez

    "One doesn't discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time"

    - Andre Gide

  4. I'm hoping to do the Ignation Exercises next year. It's a nine-month program we have in my area called "Heartpaths." Looking forward to it, for a lot of reasons.