Friday, August 7, 2009

Cries for Grace

     Science Fiction writers have always managed to include aliens who have the ability to read minds. I have always thought this would be an unmitigated disaster. This week, however, it has come to me that perhaps one form of telepathy might make the world a bit better: What would it be like if we could hear the cries for grace all around us? If we could, perhaps, hear others when they plead for mercy from us, perhaps it would change how we treat one another.

     Maybe we would back off the bumper of the person driving slowly ahead of us if we could suddenly hear, “Please understand I'm driving too slowly because I’m coming back from the funeral of my husband of forty years. I‘m numb. I don’t know how I am going to go on.”

     Might we understand a young man’s anger better if were able to eavesdrop on his thoughts: “I’ve never accomplished anything in my life. I’m worthless.”

     Could we be a bit more patient with an elderly person in the check-out line while she sorts slowly through her change purse if we could read the thought, “Oh please, God, I’m so frightened. Please let me have enough money for this.”

     The chorus must rise all around us every day – pleas for grace, for understanding, for mercy, for compassion. They rise from grown men, children, and from the disabled. Young mothers and old men; black and white; gay and straight, all pray for grace from you and from me. Even animals pray for grace, I believe.

1 Corinthians 13:12 says, "For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known."

     There will come a time when we will understand one another completely and know absolutely all the many reasons why each one of us is the way we are. We will know about all the cries for grace each of us hoped for from one another every day. Until that time, maybe we do not need telepathy.

     All we really need is grace.


  1. I have on occasion given the cashier the extra dollar or so for the person in front of me. I only like to do it if there are few people in line behind me. Don't like to make a fuss about it, but it is always welcomed. I like Bart-'s idea that the hearing/receiving be mutual.

  2. What an amazing post!

    But I'd be careful with wishing for telepathic powers. It hands us too much control.
    Who's to say the woman at the check-out wants everyone to know that she can't afford her shopping?
    Who's to say that learning to admit to be vulnerable isn't a major growth process in our lives?

    What we ought to do is try to see Christ in everyone we meet (I know that sounds glib! It's so hard!), and not to jump to conclusion about them.

    If we can manage to give everyone the benefit of doubt and not automatically judge harshly and cultivate some patience, we too can grow and gain a lot more than if we'd simply had instant knowledge.


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