Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Offering Grace


I spoke today to a friend who struggles with the ongoing pain in their own heart, as well as the heavy pain that afflicts the world. It's always refreshing to meet a tender-hearted person, one whose life-scars informs them how to care and love other scarred ones. For, it is with this type of person that one feels free to be oneself because we do not feel judged.

The Lectionary Gospel reading for this Sunday concerns the Pharisee and the sinner woman (Luke 7:36-8:3). She sobs before Jesus because of her sin while the Pharisee judges Jesus for failing to notice that the woman before him was actually "unclean" (even more judgment).

It is sad how the religious sometimes refuse -- or are for some reason unable -- to see their own sin, which allows them therefore to cut others deep and wide. Let this not be said of us. Let us be ones who offer grace.

When thinking in this direction I am always reminded of a poem
by Evangeline Paterson called LAMENT:

Weep, weep for those
Who do the work of the Lord
with a high look
And a proud heart.
Their voice is lifted up
In the streets, and their cry is heard.
The bruised reed they break
By their great strength, and the smoking flax
They trample.

Weep not for the quenched
(For their God will hear their cry
And the Lord will come to save them)
But weep, weep for the quenchers

For when the Day of the Lord
Is come, and the vales sing
And the hills clap their hands
And the light shines
Then their eyes will be opened
On a waste place,
Smoldering,
The smoke of the flax bitter
In their nostrils,
Their feet pierced
By broken reed stems...
Wood, hay, stubble,
And no grass springing,
And all the birds flown.

Weep, weep for those
Who made a desert
In the name of the Lord.