“All is Grace.”
I heard those words often recently when I was in West Africa…and they came from people whose lives were pretty tough and who were aware of people whose situations were even tougher than theirs. They certainly pulled me up short. I don’t think they were being naïve, ‘Pollyannaish’ or even trying to look on the bright side. Rather they were asserting that God can and does work for good, our personal good, in each and every situation. God is on our side.
So why don’t we see it? There may be a number of reasons. Sometimes we are in so awful a situation that it will take time and personal growth before we can look back and understand it.
But more often it is because we are not looking at the situation in the right way. I recently met with a friend whose life is a mess and who, I believe, is upset that God hasn’t gotten him out of it. What really amazed me is that there are a number of real choices he could make that would go towards dealing with his problems, but he will not take even one. His attitude is stopping change. He wants total (miraculous) change or nothing and he won’t recognise that most real change in our lives comes in small steps, building on the good things already present and, often, employing the help of others. In other words, he doesn’t recognise the good that is around him and so is giving no room for grace to move. When we actually count our blessings, see the good within our reach, we open ourselves to God and let grace move within us. And that is what I saw in the lives of those people in West Africa. Tough as life may be, by focussing on their blessings they allowed grace to work even in the most difficult situations.
Loving God, open our minds and hearts to the goodness around us. Let your Spirit work in our lives that we may follow the example of Jesus, offering grace and goodness to all. We ask this in his name confident that you will hear us.
Sr Kym Harris osb