Permission Granted—Grace in an Episodic World
“Permission” brought us together on the phone. He, in Michigan at a major university—a piano tuner, father, robust Catholic Christian, and much more than I will ever know. I, in Hawaii—retired, United Methodist Christian, working at play and playing at work, musing, making a gate so my toddler granddaughter won’t fall down the stairs when she comes to visit each day. He (I imagine) in snow boots and a heavy coat nearby (16 degrees on this February day). I, in my shorts and floppies—my daily uniform. I had emailed him early in the morning. He replied, “Call me” and gave his phone number. So we were talking on the phone by the weavings of grace. I had found (ah, Google search!) his posting of startlingly engaging photos of the baptism of his son and I wanted to use one of them for a web article I had written. He needed to know if the usage was legit and not some scam.
In this postmodern world grace is dynamic, seemingly random, and episodic. It happens in the *interstices of heart beats, butterfly wings and plumeria blossoms. What and how grace weaves into life’s fabric amazes me. I was prompted to write the above mentioned web article by a hilarious and very playful letter from a colleague who had been sleuthing the reason why her annual church meeting was not up to snuff on an official change in terminology for members—previously “full members”—now “professing members.” (United Methodists deal with such fine points!) My writing the article led to the photo search that led to the baptism picture that led to the permission request that…. You get the picture. What more will come of this twisting of threads will be known later.
Grace—call it friendships on the fly, episodic existence, moments of opening to the wider world—happens. I was encouraged by the mix of generosity, artfulness, and wariness of my “one morning friend” in Michigan. Over the years, on saint’s days, I have often used the Book of Common Prayer antiphon for “All Saints and Other Major Saints’ Days”—“Alleluia. The Lord is glorious in [the] saints. Come, let us adore him. Alleluia.” I felt it appropriate for this day too!
*For a short blog on “interstices” go to “Leadership & Wrestling” on Executive Zen by Toby Thompson.