Shelter In Grace
Grace is a subject and substance especially near and dear to my heart. I appreciate it as the free-flowing kindness of God, who I recognize as the Source of all-pervading Universal energy, the Divine Inner Guide, and the Supreme Loving Person. Grace is also found in simply elegant refined movement, and in the act of receiving or giving the honor of one’s presence.
The most exquisite experience of grace I’ve encountered is within the confluence of all the above - where God’s generosity and presence move through my life, and where my awareness is present and moving in alignment with it. When I consciously step into that confluence of spiritual energy, a sense of sanctuary surrounds me.
Every energy has its own texture, flavor, and consistency. Grace is fluid, fine, and sweet. It carries gentleness and comfort to the body, mind, and soul. This gentleness provides a lovely, peaceful, secure shelter. It bears relief from all forms of harshness, internally and externally.
A few years ago, a book on Grace, Moving in Divine Alignment, channeled through me, and the quality of grace on the hard paths of life revealed itself to me as follows at that time:
“When the dance stands still in the dark – outside my comfort zone, in the space of the unknown, in the history of pain, before the next step – I tend to feel neither peaceful, patient, nor poised. I have grabbed for answers, change, relief, but found none independently within my clutch. So, I envision a fabric of grace, formed when the favor of God becomes interwoven with the sweetness of elegant movement and presence. Unlike ordinary cloth, the fabric of grace dons a mystical twist. It is a lifeline of being, bearing inexhaustible strength to uplift and pull us forward through all experiences. There is an artistry of the soul in reaching for this spiritual material of grace. It calls forth inner enlightenment and skill to clasp it in the heart, not in the hands. Grasping the fabric of grace is the same as letting go and trusting it is the one wrapping around and holding. When the heart is embracing grace, there are no clenched fists. The urge to tightly grip is released. The hands are gentle, cradling unlimited space for them to become full of gifts.”
When I re-read this today, in a time when so many are experiencing upheaval and uncertainty in a world altered by crisis, I recognize its relevance. There is a spiritual need for grace now. How can it be accessed and integrated? How can we shelter in its gentleness?
One spiritual access point to grace I’ve found most effective is sincere prayer. For example, “Please grant me the grace to be receptive to grace.” Or, “Please grant me the grace to release anxiety.” “Please grant me the grace to move through this time with faith and ease.” The nature of grace is so giving, that when you or I humbly request the grace of the quality for which the heart yearns, that grace tends to readily descend and begin to reveal itself in miraculous ways.
At every step through new and current circumstances, we can pray for the grace of whatever is needed within us now. I’ve learned that accompanying that with being gentle with oneself is also very valuable. Allowing ourselves to be, rest, receive, harmonize with the natural rhythm of energy, and experience honest feelings without judgment or force to change them, offers gentleness and invites grace. It creates space to let go and let God move through you and me and our lives.
Letting go and letting grace in can also be embodied through a simple moving meditation with the hands. I recommend beginning with clenched fists, while tuning in to anything you find yourself holding onto. Perhaps it is fear, control, desire, the way things were… Whatever it may be, when you are ready, begin to soften your grip, release the tension, and unfold your fingers. Let your hands be soft, with your palms upward, open not only to let go of what you were holding, but to offer what is in your heart to give, and to receive what God and grace bring you. Pause there, pray there, with eyes closed and soft open hands and heart to receive. Feel free then to let your arms and hands move, dance, and float around you, filling your space with the grace you just received. This is one of unlimited ways to shelter in the gentleness of grace.