07 October 2014

Putting Up with Grace

If things had gone the way you planned,
 you wouldn't be here
asking big questions
shaking your head
     in wonder
baffled by forgiveness
stumped by grace.

That June day held no light for you.
Everything was dark
--the sky
--your mood
--your intentions
"They kept telling me I was going to hell,"
you said about the voices
that took up room in your brain.
"If I was going to hell,
I was going to take everyone with me."

The labyrinth was in total eclipse
no light around the edges.
It all made sense
in some parallel universe.

You plotted
and planned
dragged your pen across pages
in your journal.
The God who hounded you
who made lists of your failings
who screamed disappointment,
That God was hell-bent,
redemption not a possibility.

You organized thoughts and ammunition.
How to create the most hurt?
What will cause the most damage?
It was a problem of logic
a puzzle.

If things had gone as you planned
you would have died
it would all be over
or so you thought

Someone died that day.
People got hurt.
Life changed in profound ways
and here is the most telling sign:
you are here.

Wrestling with images of a god too small
--a god to be manipulated
--a god to be shunned
If this is god, and I am like that god
is it any surprise
that madness leads to death?

You have met tenderness
in notes that hold out forgiveness
and refuse to sede you
as a monster
as devil-incarnate
You can ask about the width of mercy
because others say, "I see you."
You can imagine a larger world
--unseen before this
almost visible still
and in it room for you
and the man you killed 
and the people you hurt
and the God who keeps making room
no matter what
Who keeps on insisting
"You are my beloved."

Your plans went awry.
The path of grace is never straight.
Sometimes we have to put up with grace
--unruly, chaotic, definitely not rational
Instead of dragging other with you
into hell
you are caught in the tsunami
that is grace.

You may think you're drowning
that you will never survive
but you can, you will.
You are here.


Peyton said...

profoundly touching and true...bless you...

Rita Kowats said...

Thank you, Shannon. You make a poignant case that in God there is always room.