Come to the Party!

Come to the Party

Lent 41-43

 

Our lives are like a puzzle.  Each day, each event, each sorrow, each joy – all are pieces of this puzzle we call our life.  Sorting out the pieces would be an impossible task if we encountered them all at once.  Fortunately, each piece is revealed much like a treasure map or the clues on a scavenger hunt.

 

During this series we have been discussing life from the viewpoint of the Beatitudes.  Someone asked me to summarize this series in one sentence.  My answer is a quote from Marty Rubin:  “Drink freely the wine life offers you and don’t worry how much you spill.”

 

We need to celebrate being alive.  All too often we find ourselves competing with others.  Life is not a race; it is a pace.  We should spend our time realizing that our being is a gift and celebrate the party that is our life.  So if we are going to consider our lives a party, how do we live that?

 

Every good party planner will tell you that the first step in having a successful party is the invitation list.  Most of us do not have the ability to control everyone who enters our life.  We can and should make sure that we ourselves come to the party that is our life.  We need to be present in our living.  Kevyn Aucoin explains how to do this.  “Today I choose life. Every morning when I wake up I can choose joy, happiness, negativity, pain… To feel the freedom that comes from being able to continue to make mistakes and choices – today I choose to feel life, not to deny my humanity but embrace it.”

 

Next in party planning comes the actual planning.  We need to awaken and give thanks for having done so.  Then we need to proceed with a purpose, a plan if you will on our living.  This might include some religious or spiritual aspects but it certainly must involve respect and compassion as well as courtesy toward others.  Essential to every good party is lining up any needed help.  No one goes through life without some help from another.  We need to be confident and reach out to others for assistance.  There is no shame and everything to gain when we recognize this.

 

Crucial to a celebration is having the space to celebrate.  Whether the party is at home or at a rented venue, clearing out space to gather and be merry.  The same is true for our lives.  We need to take the time to declutter, both literally and figuratively.  Next on my to-do list for a successful party is the item “set the stage”.  All too often we forget to set ourselves up for success.  Whether it is by getting the proper education and training or simply putting on a happy face and having a positive attitude, we need to prepare to be the best we possibly can.

 

This week is celebrated by Christians as the last big party and the sentencing and crucifixion of the man known as Jesus.  This year, Jewish people are also celebrating Passover this week, a time of great meaning for them.   In their own way, both holidays celebrate freedom and atonement.  They remind us to forgive ourselves and to forgive others.  To fail to do so is to deny one the joy of living.

 

One of my favorite life quotes is one said by Auliq Ice:  “Laughter is like a windshield wiper, it doesn’t stop the rain but allows us to keep going.”  I think in their own way, the Beatitudes tell us the same thing.  We will encounter negativity in our lives.  That is inevitable.  However, with faith and determination as our windshield wipers, we can use them as lessons to keep going and celebrate the living our life is.  When we decide to come to the party of life, great things are bound to happen and we will truly be free to find joy in our being.

 

 

 

Women, Life and Beliefs

Life and Beliefs

Lent 28

 

Religious freedom is not just something discussed and guaranteed in the United States Constitution, although said document was one of the first to include it in a government’s laws and stated human rights.  It has been the goal of mankind since beliefs became diverse and openly discussed.  Clearly the first deliverance of the Jewish people from the bondage in Egypt was not a cure-all.  In the mid twentieth century Adolf Hitler sought to not only enslave them but to eradicate them, even though he himself was of Jewish descent.   “We were redeemed from Egypt because of the righteousness of the women of that generation.”  This sentence is found in the Talmud, the Jewish holy book.   

 

Today many people are seeking freedoms, both for religious purposes but also for just basic living.  Sarah Aaronsohn was born at the end of the nineteenth century and spent her life trying to obtain freedom for Palestine from Turkish rule.  She was tortured for her efforts but remained strong and determined, faithful to her religion.  Lina Abarbanell was an opera singer of high acclaim.  She retired from singing but not from the stage and became a worldwide director of such wonderful operas as “Porgy and Bess”.  Born in Germany immediately after the end of World War I, Rosalie Silberman Abella took her experience as a refugee and used it as motivation to help others.  She became the first Jewish woman elected to the Supreme Court of Canada.  Ruth Abrams became the first woman to serve on the Massachusetts Supreme Court, championing both women and minorities through her legal career.  Ruth Ginsberg is a vigilant and powerful presence in the United States Supreme Court today.

 

Lithuanian Dina Abramowicz was a Holocaust survivor from World War Ii.  While many hold that librarians are quiet, dull people, usually female, Dina proved them wrong.  As the head librarian of the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, she helped recreate the rich heritage of the Jewish culture and people after WWII.  Bella Abzug was a New Yorker who also proved the strength of the Jewish woman.  Throughout her three terms as a U.S. Congresswoman, she advocated for and helped pass ground-breaking legislation for equal rights and particularly the right of women to play intramural sports in schools.

 

More recently Jill Abramson was the first female executive editor of the New York Times and promoted women within the organization as well as featuring stories regarding gender equality and racial injustice.  Rachel Adler sought to achieve gender equality within her own faith and was a pioneer of the Jewish feminist movement.  Born fifty years earlier, Paula Ackerman had taken over leadership of her rabbi husband’s congregation upon his death, a move that was met with support from the members of their synagogue.   Amy Alcott is a fantastic golfer who was recognized in the World Golf Hall of Fame.  Sue Alexander is a founding member of the International Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. 

 

The Beatitudes offer us a reason to continue to believe, in spite of what life throws at us.  They also have, for many, provided a foundation for which to live.  With no mission board to support or guide her and less than ten dollars in her pocket, Gladys Aylward left her home in England to answer God’s call to take the message of the gospel to China.  Amy Carmichael is an Irish missionary who spent fifty-three years in South India without a break.  Both women believed that their Creator would provide for their needs.

 

Dr. Helen Roseveare graduated in medicine from University of Cambridge in the late 1940′s. A well-known missionary doctor and author, with several of her works still in print, she worked in the north-eastern province of the Belgian Congo with the Heart of Africa Mission in the 1950′s & 60′s.  Art critic John Ruskin enthusiastically proclaimed her potential as one of the best artists of the nineteenth century, but Lilias Trotter’s devotion to Christ compelled her to surrender her life of art, privilege, and leisure. Leaving the home of her wealthy parents for a humble dwelling in Algeria, Lilias defied stereotypes and taboos that should have deterred any European woman from ministering in a Muslim country. Yet she stayed for nearly forty years, befriending Algerian Muslims with her appreciation for literature and art and winning them to Christ through her life of love.

 

Khadīja Khuwaylid Even was an important figure in her own right even before her famous marriage to the Prophet Muhammad, since she was a successful merchant and one of the elite figures of Mecca. She played a central role in supporting and propagating the new faith of Islam and has the distinction of being the first Muslim. 

 

One of the most important mystics (or Sufis) in the Muslim tradition, Rābi‘a al-‘Adawīyya spent much of her early life as a slave in southern Iraq before attaining her freedom. She is considered to be one the founders of the Sufi school of “Divine Love,” which emphasizes the loving of God for His own sake, rather than out of fear of punishment or desire for reward. She lays this out in one of her poems:

“O God! If I worship You for fear of Hell, burn me in Hell,

and if I worship You in hope of Paradise, exclude me from Paradise.

But if I worship You for Your Own sake,

grudge me not Your everlasting Beauty.”

 

March is Women’s History Month so today I have dedicated this post to women of great faith.  Throughout history women have lived and fought for their religious beliefs and freedoms, finding strength in the cause and effects echoed in the Beatitudes.  These named represent a small minority of the thousands of thousands of brave and spiritual women who have lived according to their beliefs.  The list just goes on and on as these women have found purpose and strength from their faith.  After all, why do we believe if it is not to help us live better and leave the world a better place?

 

 

 

 

 

Living Today

Living Today

Lent 4-5

 

On November 1, 2016, Pope Francis offered his own updated version of the Beatitudes.  The Beatitudes are eight instances of cause and effect, given by a poor carpenter as he spoke to a crowd gathered on a hillside thousands of years ago.   Their named comes from the Latin “beatitude” which means happiness.  Each instance references something from the Old Testament but with a twist in its interpretation.  Pope Francis offered his own take with six new beatitudes.

 

The need for us to recognize this cause and effect is as necessary today as it was almost two thousand years ago.  In our modern world we see cause and effect every day.  The most striking examples are the suicide bombings which are prevalent worldwide.  These bombings are said to be based in religious teachings yet they offer no real restitution to those they purportedly are defending and their effect contributes to further dislike and discrimination of said groups of people.  They certainly do not follow the teachings of Islam.  Instead, paraphrasing Pope Francis, Islam would be better served as would all types of religion, especially Christianity and Judaism, if we stayed true to the teachings instead of responding with hatred and fear.  “Blessed are those who remain faithful while enduring evils inflicted on them by others and forgive them from their heart.”

 

We tend to think of such writings as the Beatitudes are being out of date and yet, they are very applicable to world events.  Perhaps this is why Pope Francis mentioned “Blessed are those who look into the eyes of the abandoned and marginalized and show them their closeness.”

 

As I have mentioned so many times, life is messy and living in today’s world is not easy.  Instead of fearing each other, we need to remember just how close we really are and in spite of our differences, recognize Creation in all we see.  “Blessed are those who see God in every person and strive to make others also discover him.”  Perhaps there are those who do not believe in a God of any sorts.  I would suggest to them to substitute the word Creation for God.  The fact is clear from a biological and genetic point of view that we are all reflections of each other.  We share a great deal.

 

Pope Francis continued with two more:  “Blessed are those who protect and care for our common home.   Blessed are those who renounce their own comfort in order to help others.”  Again, don’t think of just your physical abode but of our home, Mother Earth.  And finally, Pope Francis concluded with “Blessed are those who pray and work for full communion.”

 

Communion is not just something that happens during a mass or Eucharist church service.  Communion is relationship and hopefully, unity.  We are all in a relationship with each other whether we recognize that or not.  Not all relationships are great.  The connections we make, the interactions we have…These make up the brunt of our living.  Shouldn’t we try to make them as effective as possible?

 

We need to stop trying to give an eye for an eye and start showing kindness.  Period.   Not just be kind to those we perceive as being kind to us but be kind to all.  We need to not see just our differences but embrace them for the wonderful diversity and excitement they bring to life.  When we see the abandoned or excluded, we need to reach out and embrace them.  We share so much in common and there is beauty in all of Creation including those who might have been pushed to the outside.  We should respect all who offer our life and homes protection as well as those who are protecting our home, Mother Earth.  We needs to give thanks for those willing to put themselves last and us first and for those who go that extra mile to engage in relationships with all of humanity. 

 

Who can say they stand on the pedestal of right all the time?  Who can say who should have to live on the left of normal?  None of us is better than the least of us.  A rose by any other name…is still a flower.   Blessed are they who truly embrace their living for they… live.

Embrace and Tolerate

Embrace and Tolerate

Epiphany 23

 

Just then a religion scholar stood up with a question to test Jesus. “Teacher, what do I need to do to get eternal life?” He answered, “What’s written in God’s Law? How do you interpret it?”  He said, “That you love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and muscle and intelligence—and that you love your neighbor as well as you do yourself.”  “Good answer!” said Jesus. “Do it and you’ll live.”  Looking for a loophole, the scholar asked, “And just how would you define ‘neighbor’?”

 

The above paragraph was in a post I received on Facebook from a young man of strength and character.  This paragraph has become the topic of the world news because of recent events occurring in the United States.  The man elected in part with the support of conservative religious groups seems to have forgotten this part of faith – all faiths.

 

In times where terrorism seems to occur several times a day in some part of the world and several times a year in others, fear is an understandable reaction.  Fear responses are our body’s defense system.  It serves as a reminder to act – not to hate.  We take cover during a storm because our body fears the consequences.  We use medicines productively to combat illness because our body is telling us something needs attention.  When used appropriately, fear can serve great purpose.

 

To hate one’s neighbor, though, is not productive and none of the world’s top religions encourage it although they all speak of it.  “Looking for a loophole, the scholar asked, “And just how would you define your ‘neighbor’?”  In other words, who do we embrace, loving them as ourselves?

 

We all have had neighbors with whom we were not friendly.  It is inevitable that at some point in time our neighbors will not share our interests or respect for boundaries, play loud music, push their leaves onto our yard, etc.  In some settlements, the neighbors have guns aimed at the houses.  How on earth are we supposed to embrace these people?  Surely they are not our true neighbors.  Or are they?

 

“Worship Allah and associate nothing with Him, and to parents do good, and to relatives, orphans, the needy, the near neighbor, the neighbor farther away, the companion at your side…”.   This quote is from the Quran, 4:36.  Islam speaks highly of the one who not only sees their neighbor and embraces them but also tolerates them and treats them with respect.

 

“The Scale of Wisdom” is a collection of sayings of the Prophet Mohammed and the Twelve Imams compiled by M. Muhammadi Rayshahri.  “It is to help him if he asks your help, to lend him if he asks to borrow from you, to satisfy his needs if he becomes poor, to console him if he is visited by an affliction, to congratulate him if is met with good fortune, to visit him if he becomes ill, to attend his funeral if he dies, not to make your house higher than his without his consent lest you deny him the breeze, to offer him fruit when you buy some or to take it to your home secretly if you do not do that, nor to send out your children with it so as not to upset his children, nor to bother him by the tempting smell of your food unless you send him some.”

 

What does the Torah say about loving one’s neighbor?  “Do not take revenge and do not bear a grudge. Love your neighbor as yourself. I am God.”   This passage from Leviticus 19:18 is important as is the Jewish definition of love.  Judaism defines love as “the emotional pleasure of identifying virtues in another person.”   It is not seen as an act of fate nor a physical pleasure but a deliberate embracing of another and a purposeful identification of their existence.

 

The third of the world’s largest religion is Christianity, the third of the Abrahamic faiths.  Scripture for this topic is found in many places in the Christian Bible but it appears first in the New Testament in the Gospel of Matthew, in the twenty-second chapter.  To the question at the end of our first paragraph, the man known as Jesus of Nazareth gave this answer earlier in this book.  Matthew 5:43 states: “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you”. 

 

 Later in that same book, Matthew 22:36 we find this:  “Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’  This is the first and greatest commandment.   And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”  We are to embrace all and tolerate them.  In Islam this is illustrated by not having your house higher than your neighbors so as to prevent him from the breeze.  In Judaism, it is to recognize that we are all different but those differences have value.  In Christianity it is to allow that your enemy is still your brother and sister as children of the Creator and should be treated as you would wish to be treated.

 

Who is the neighbor you are to embrace and tolerate?  The person who is standing beside you, the person standing halfway around the world, the person who looks nothing like you or whose speech is unfamiliar because they exist and are, therefore, your neighbor.  We should embrace and tolerate.  To do anything else is to live a lie and hasten the end.  This is not political or even religious.  It is simply good common sense.

 

 

 

 

To Be; To Serve

To Be; To Serve

Christmas 8

 

We’ve spoken of the three holidays during this time and in some detail about Kwanzaa.  Tonight the eighth candle of Hanukah will be lit, each candle having significance in the commemoration of the miracle of the struggle of the Maccabees. 

 

Many believe Hanukah serves to remind us that life is a struggle and we find joy when we participate in that struggle.  Those that celebrate Hanukah often do so believing that, to quote Rabi Levi Ben Levy, “the past [serves] in a way that transforms who we are in the present, which in turn, affects what we may do in the future.  If you fight for life, salvation is won. It is in the victory of life that we find joy.”

 

The eight days of Hanukah are broken down into central concepts for each day.  One is concerned with their Creator, another in studying the oral and written tenets of the Judaic faith.  The third days recognizes that Judaism is an Abrahamic faith and those that follow it are children of Abraham, a belief shared by Christians and Muslims.  On the fourth day unity is emphasized, a unity that sadly has seldom been lived here on earth.

 

The fifth day is dedicated to the words of Moses and special note is made of the 365 positive commandments which correlate with the 365 days of the year.  The remaining 248 negative commandments some feel correspond with the same number of organs in the human body and this is used to illustrate the need for peace within and with one’s neighbors.

 

The sixth and seventh days are associated with creation, the six days the Hebrews and Christians belief in which creation took place of the earth, heavens, and all living things, as well as the seven orifices on the human face.  These orifices are considered gates through which things are taken in and are said to relate to the seven days of the week.

 

One could argue these points, especially those that reference the calendar because the Jewish faith does not follow the standard calendar.  On the Hebrew calendar this is Year 5777-8, for example.  They do have seven days a week and belief that the world was created in six days but comparisons could be difficult is one really delved into the subject.  Metaphors are good, though, and help us remember basic facts.

 

Life is difficult and whether one is struggling to make oil in a lamp last or stretch a dollar to cover all necessary items for living, such celebrations give us hope.  Even for those of us who are not Jewish, Hanukah serves to remind us of several important things.  First, that our faith is seen by all we encounter.  We wear it as visibly as we do our clothes.  The menorah is placed in a window so that all may see and know.  Our faith dictates our behavior and it is the walk we walk and not just the talk we talk that gives meaning to our beliefs.

 

My particular favorite thing of Hanukah is the Shamash candle.   It is sometimes called the “server candle” because it is with the Shamash candle that the other eight candles of Hanukah are lit.  Shamash is the Akkadian name for the sun god of the religion native to the Mesopotamia region.  He was also considered the deity of justice. King Hammurabi left evidence that gave credit to Shamash for his famous code by which most legal codes are written and the admonition to “love they neighbor as thyself” which occurs in most religions is derived.

 

The Shamash candle reminds us, just as the other eight candles do, of a very important aspect of living – the importance of serving.  On this the first day of a new year, according to the standard calendar, the eight candle of Hanukah will be lit with the Shamash candle.  The eighth candle is one of retrospection, rejuvenation, refortification and thereby, giving us a rededicated mind. 

 

On this first day of January in the year 2017 or the third day of Tevet in the year 5777, how will you be a server?  It is our purpose to not just take and experience but to serve others, to share in life.  On this day, many will make resolutions for a brighter future to forge pathways to be as bright as the sun god Shamash.  I hope you will also be a server candle and help another find their way towards a better tomorrow for us all.

Age and Renewal

Age and Renewal

Christmas 3

 

This blog is published daily or at least publishes a blog for each day, today being the 1030th blog post.  The different series are divided into sections based loosely on the liturgical calendar of those religions with an historic episcopate.  This blog is not religious in nature though.  The spirituality of the world is also included and recently someone asked me why.  Why do I not just publish from my own perspective?  Why include other religions and discuss various spiritualities?

 

The purpose of this blog was to have an outlet for discussion, discussions which, I hoped, would expand my own thinking and possibly that of others.  Hence, the title of this blog is “n2myhead” or… “into my head”.  As we approach the end of 2016, I found it fitting to have been asked this question because life really is about age and maturity and renewal, the very things we often reflect upon at this time of the year.  Age and renewal is also the history of the world’s religions and spiritualities and is the timeline for the cultures of humanity.

 

Today is the third day of Christmas, the second day of Kwanzaa, and tonight will be the fourth night of Hanukkah.  It might seem that a Christian holiday, a cultural commemoration of African heritage, and a Jewish celebration of a miracle have little in common, just as viewing the parade of representative in their native garb at the United Nations seems like a party rather than history.  Those perspectives, however, belie the truth and the connections all have.  They deny the connections we ourselves have.

 

Hinduism is considered the world’s oldest religion, followed by Judaism and Zoroastrianism.  There were no You Tube videos of the first worship services or spiritual practices but it is believed that the beginnings of Hinduism trace back to India’s pre-Vedic times, somewhere around 2000 BCE.  Called the oldest of the three Abrahamic religions, Judaism traces its beginnings to the time of Abraham or 1800 BCE.  Zoroastrianism is a bit more difficult to track but it is estimated to have begun in Persian from either the eighteenth century BCE to somewhere around the six century BCE.  Jainism, Buddhism, and Confucianism also began around the sixth century BCE and the text of Taoism has been attributed to Lao Tzu with a date also in this same religiously spiritual sixth century BCE.

 

Christianity is approximately two thousand years old with Islam coming six hundred years later.  Because it also is an Abrahamic faith along with Judaism and Christianity, some claim it had its beginnings with Abraham as do some Christian scholars.  The word “Islam” translates as “submission to the will of God” so it is understandable that since the Quran considers Adam, Noah, Abraham, and Moses as submitters, they might claim this earlier date.  As an organized religion, nonetheless, it came into existence with the prophet Mohammad in Arabia in the seventh century ACE. 

 

History is a nondenominational, non-spiritual recording of the history of the world and those in it and yet, even history did not escape the influence of spiritualties and religions.  The western of Georgian calendar used worldwide uses the Christian birth of Christ, the man known also as Jesus of Nazareth, as the axis point or divider for historical events.  Up until recently the terms “B.C.” and “A.D.” were used, referring to “Before Christ” and “Anno Domini” which is Latin for “in the year of the Lord”.  Now the terms are “BCE for “Before the Common Era” and “ACE” or “After the Common Era”.

 

Shinto is considered the indigenous or traditional religion of Japan and it came into being somewhere around the eighth century ACE.  The world’s youngest religion is Sikhism which was founded in India by Guru Nanak approximately in 1500 ACE.  These major religions are not the only ones practiced in the world, however.  Another religiously active century was the nineteenth century.  Baha’i  in Persia, the modern-day Iran. Christian Science in Boston, MA, USA,  and Mormonism in Western New York are made an appearance during the 1800’s. 

 

The twentieth century, known for its industrial revolutions and advancements in computer technology did not omit spirituality either.  Rastafarianism was found in Jamaica in the 1930’s; L. Ron Hubbard began his Church of Scientology in New Jersey, USA in 1953 and the Unification Church was founded in South Korea the following year.  Also during this time Great Britain saw a revival of ancient European indigenous paganism with traditions being unified under the heading of Wicca.

 

This timeline illustrates how we are connected not only with the use of a common sense of time but also by the aging and renewing of beliefs with different perspectives.  This time of year is the perfect time to emphasize those connections and take heed of the gifts we all have with them.  Each celebration serves a purpose and gives us an avenue to reconnect.  Just as we age and learn, growing into our own person, so does the world age and renew itself. 

 

Writer Deborah Day believes that “Renewal requires opening yourself up to new ways of thinking and feeling.”  I agree.  It is the very nature and purpose of this blog.  The Roman writer Ovid in his “Metamorphoses explains why this is important or should be important to us:   “As wave is driven by wave and each, pursued, pursues the wave ahead; so time flies on and follows, flies, and follows, always, forever and new. What was before is left behind; what never was is now; and every passing moment is renewed.”

 

During these eight days of Hanukah, these twelve days of Christmas, and six days of Kwanza, we are called to remember, revere, and renew.  It is the essence of life.  It is our purpose for living.  It is proper, then, that each includes the lighting of candles.  They serve to help light the path before us and to take us out of the darkness of the past.  “For within your flesh, deep within the center of your being, is the undaunted, waiting, longing, all-knowing. Is the ready, able, perfect. Within you, waiting its turn to emerge, piece by piece, with the dawn of every former test of trial and blackness, is the next unfolding, the great unfurling of wings, the re-forged backbone of a true Child of Light.” (Jennifer DeLucy)

The Truth about Grace

The Truth about Grace

Advent 28

 

Ann Lamott felt there was a mystery to grace, that concept we have spent Advent discussing:  “I do not understand the mystery of grace – only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us.”  Describing it is terms of a mystery makes one wonder about its axiomatic presence.  Can something be a mystery and self-evident at the same time?

 

In our approach to discussing grace, using the four realms of probability, we removed the mystery when it comes to grace.  Whether it was classical, empirical, subjective, or axiomatic, we held true to the belief that grace exists.   While some might try to isolate as the provenance of grace to the religious, we considered that it really is in the air we breathe, simply waiting for us to reach out and grasp it, holding it and then releasing it back into the world. 

 

So why did I elect to use the four realms of probability in my approach to grace?  Because there is a very great probability that you have shared grace, both as the giver and as the receiver.  We tend to think of things as concrete or abstract.  Those things we can see, hear, smell, or taste are definitely concrete while our feelings lean towards the abstract realm.  The truth is that our feelings, where we often give and receive grace, are as real as anything on earth.  The probability of grace in your life is a certainty. 

 

The actor Bradley Whitlock has a great quote about grace.  Infuse your life with action. Don’t wait for it to happen. Make it happen. Make your own future. Make your own hope. Make your own love. And whatever your beliefs, honor your creator, not by passively waiting for grace to come down from upon high, but by doing what you can to make grace happen… yourself, right now, right down here on Earth.”

 

Life is not simple.  It is complicated and will have periods of darkness and light.  The darkness can serve to clean the slate and lead us towards a brighter tomorrow.  Author Patricia Briggs advises ““When life doesn’t meet your expectations, it was important to take it with grace.”

 

Writer and thinker C. Joybell C. expounds on that thought.  “Peace is the number one beautiful ornament you can wear, I really believe that. They say you should always wear a smile, but I don’t believe that you should “always” wear a smile.  Seriously, you’re going to look stupid!  But peace, you should always carry peace within you.  It’s the most beautifying thing you could ever have or do. Peace makes your heart beautiful and it makes you look beautiful, too. You want to have perfect physical posture when you stand, sit, and walk, and peace is the perfect posture of the soul, really. Try perfect posture outside as well as inside. Peace creates grace and grace gives peace.”

 

Grace is not something we should be awaiting to fall into our laps, placed there by another.  Grace is something we should be sharing.  It is a verb, not a flimsy concept hovering just outside the realm of our own existence.  It is an action verb, the one thing that can turn a subjective judgment into a unifying movement, the first step for a better tomorrow, the hope of the hopeless and the light for those who do not see the beauty of the world.