Posted by: pendrops | March 7, 2007

life, as is

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“You don’t always get what you want;
you get what you get…
and what you get instead is life,
and grace…”

Anne Lamott

The Stones said something like this, but I like the way Anne says it best. We get life but, if we’re looking close enough, if we’re aware, if we’re open, we get grace, too. Undeserved favor for moments of harrowing hardship, loveliness in life’s fiercest and ugliest seasons.

This didn’t hit me today while meeting with my small group. We spent 90 minutes diving head first into each others’ little worlds, sending up splashes of anxiety, uncertainty and weariness, watching life’s waves lapping on our shorelines.

It was sick kids, husbands on job hunts, dashed dreams, friendships on the rocks, pregnant friends in abusive relationships, and in-law drama. But we shared, we listened, we hoped, and, as women sometimes do, we sort of tried to fix each other’s problems.

And I didn’t think of it then, but I’m thinking it now…and Anne’s right. None of us really want to drown here, held under by the hand dealt to us in this particular moment. We want to somehow rise above the contempt we feel about this water churning around us. But truth be told, this is life, it’s what we signed on for, it’s the best we get in this broken, mercy-wanting world.

But, by God’s great goodness, we also get grace.

The grace to smile in sickness, to dance in death, to cartwheel in chaos, to pirouette though all around us, and inside us, crumbles. Because there is grace enough, grace sufficient, grace for all of it. Inexhaustible. Undeniable. Utterly attainable. All we have to do is receive it, life, that is. Life as is.

And just when we think we can’t, when the sickness is too much, the money’s not there, lifelong friendships don’t last, grace will come in. Quiet-like and through the back door, she’ll come in, put on a lovely album, and releve’ in the middle of our dirty laundry.

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