The winds of Grace are always blowing, we need only raise our sails. – Sri RamakrishnaGrace and gratitude. Two words that carry with them a lot of meaning for me. I’ve written about them time and again. Grace, unlike being some soft and peaceful force we want it to be, can sometimes assume the form of the most painful of situations we have to endure. That we can go through the pain and come out stronger and with grateful hearts is what Grace is truly all about.
[click_to_tweet tweet=”That we can go through the pain and come out stronger and with grateful hearts is what Grace is truly all about.” quote=”That we can go through the pain and come out stronger and with grateful hearts is what Grace is truly all about.”]We often dread things and wonder how we would face them. The loss of a loved one, a fatal illness, a sudden loss of all that we have saved, heartbreak, loss of friendship, the consequences of our mistakes – these are the things we fear. And when they visit us and we are able to endure and go through them, we experience grace. Last week, two men passed away. Both of cancer. John McCain and my Dad’s youngest brother (the fourth death in a year for our family). John McCain had a long and painful illness. My Uncle passed within a month of his diagnosis. What struck me about both men was that they were prepared to die and they did so with fortitude. Both of them planned their own funerals – down to the detail of who would speak about them! My Uncle, a Catholic priest and a moral theologian, drew on his faith and his experience of counseling the sick and the dying. And yet, it must have been hard to accept his illness and imminent death. When I met him last month, I was struck by how much he was trying to do whatever he could to prolong his life, and yet was prepared for whatever was in store for him. Yes, the winds of grace were calling him to raise his sails and he did! And in this, he set an example for us. Since June 2017, it appears that the winds of grace have been blowing my way with full force, asking me to raise my sails! I confess I am struggling with grief and loss, trying to stay afloat. I’m grateful for love and friendship that keeps me going, but most of all I’m grateful for Grace.
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