The God of my understanding takes the form of Divine Grace in my life and it feels (sometimes) like this picture. BOTH WAYS. Meaning sometimes it feels like I am the little one with a strong and loving father holding my hand and leading me down the path of life. Sometimes Grace feels like a tiny delicate hand in mine, entrusting itself to my care and presence and discipline. But there’s no judgement in this picture, no wrath. There’s no punishment.
That’s not to say we don’t reap what we sow. That’s not to say that we can’t create a hell on earth for ourselves or put ourselves in a position apposed to Grace. If the little one chooses to, she can let go of my hand and run into the thorns, or a onto a snake, or off a cliff. If she were to, as a loving father, I will do everything I can to rescue her and heal her afterward. But she is free to run off or disobey, as are we. And Grace is ALWAYS there when we are ready to return or when we’re in trouble or when we’re ready to be helped.
And on the other side if I fail to care for the little one entrusted to me, if I fail to feed her or shelter her, or if I abuse her, I can lose her, she can be taken away from me. Same goes with the connection to Grace we cultivate on the path. We choose our choices wisely, we practice, we pray, we live with discipline and care and the experience of Grace comes in a very conscious way into our life, it lives in our home and shares our every moment. But, like a father with a little girl, we can blow it. We can chase her away, we can neglect her and lose her – and when that happens with Grace THERE IS NOTHING WORSE. We can withstand the greatest storms and trials when we’re in conscious contact with Grace. But if we’re out of touch, even the greatest life blessings fail to feed our soul.
But I want UNCONDITIONAL Grace! Yes, our access to Grace is unconditional. But our relationship to Grace, like any other relationship, does require skillful and loving participation. This is what the whole “prodigal son” archetype is about. This is redemption. This is being saved. The Love is unconditional, the Grace is freely given. But it must be taken. It must be cared for. Our vessel must be strong and open and brought often to the well.
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