Graceful Rhythm


photo by Katrina Harper

“The rain I am in is not like the rain of cities. It fills the woods with an immense and confused sound. It covers the flat roof of the cabin and its porch with insistent and controlled rhythms. And I listen, because it reminds me again and again that the whole world runs by rhythms I have not yet learned to recognize, rhythms that are not those of the engineer.”

– Thomas Merton, Raids on the Unspeakable


Off The Leash


I want to share a story because I want to remember it. Not to say I wouldn’t or couldn’t remember it if I didn’t write it down but let’s increase the odds shall we?

Our dog got off her leash the other day. She’s done this many times over the years and each time it feels like the last time we’ll see her. This time was no exception. It was drive time. A storm was rolling in. My daughter was out in her car driving around looking for her. I took to the sidewalk and retraced several routes she had taken in the past as she usually sticks close to home.  This time felt different though.

After an hour of looking we were about to give up hope of finding her.  We had passed several people in the neighborhood and given them her description, name and a brief idea of where we lived if they found her.

After an hour and half of looking we decided to come home. At this point if seemed like she was either out of the neighborhood and would just come home on her own or had run up to a stranger and gone in their home.  Those were the best case scenarios.

We pulled into the driveway when a woman can walking up our street. “Hey did you find your dog?” she yelled. “Not yet,” I said. “I think someone found her.”

She pulled up some sort of social media page and sure enough there were pictures of Bridgette. I’ll be. “That’s her!”

So how did it go down? It turned out that she was just down the street this whole time.  She had run behind us into the creek and ended up crossing paths with some people.  Those people ended up taking her to the a local vet who figured out she was “chipped” and they scanned her chip.  The chip pulled up her name and the animal shelter we had brought her home from but it did not have our current address or contact info. The woman who we had spoken to sitting on her porch had just so happened to pull up this social media app and just so happened to remember our description of Bridgette.  She then took it upon herself to make her way several blocks on foot to try and find us.  We just so happened to be pulling into our driveway at the exact perfect time that this stranger was walking toward the direction of our house.

Can you call that a miracle? What do you call that. Incredible luck. Perfect timing. Grace.

Microchip your pet. It’s worth it. What a day. What a rollercoaster ride of emotions.

It seems that every time our dog has gotten of its leash it’s been a personal lesson of letting go to be found. Metaphor and all. Dog is God spelled backward. What a backward way to learn.

Graceful. Grateful.

Our Time In The Garden


I was going to share this passage from my friend Jeff Blake’s book “A Year on Grace Street” back on May 29 but I could never decide on a sentence to pluck from the page. It’s just so good I figured I should share it all. I hope you can zoom in enough to read it.

I’d like like to say it’s my favorite page in the book but that wouldn’t be true. Tomorrow is another day.

Whatever Your Tomb Is, You Are Risen


“Here’s a message you probably won’t hear at church this morning–YOU ARE RISEN, now get the hell out! That’s right, you are risen–not just Jesus, but everyone, all of us, risen indeed. That’s the Gospel, period.

So I say unto you, whatever your tomb is, you are risen, now get the hell out!

Maybe for you it’s fear. Maybe it’s insecurity. Maybe it’s procrastination.

Whatever your tomb is, you are risen. For Christ’s sake, it’s time to leave.

Push away the stone. See beyond your window. Awaken to the universe.

The fire of a thousand suns blazes within you. The bravery of an ever expanding cosmos quakes within you. The beauty of God Herself radiates from you. Just the smile on your face sends the demons trembling in hell.

No more time for weak knees or timid reservation. No more time for rehearsed excuses or bowing to your naysayers.

Whatever your tomb is, you are risen, now get the hell out!

Be your badass gay self. Be your unstoppable transgender truth.

Love the empath within you. Adore the misfit that is you. Embrace the brokenness that haunts you. No more shrinking back, no more conforming to a bigoted world.

No, you didn’t get the childhood you deserved. No, you didn’t get the apology owed to you. No, you didn’t get the life that you wish you would.

Yes, people have misunderstood you. Yes, people haven’t accepted you. Yes, people have hurt you.

Will those be the verses that embalm you?

I say unto you, whatever your tomb is, you are risen, now get your ass out!

The world can’t change without you. The world will never be the same if you’d just be you. Tombs are made for dead people, stop carrying yours around with you.

You are risen, now get the hell out!

Will the song inside of you never get sung?

Will the divinity that is you never be owned?

Will the salvation of another never come in your refusal to fully be you?

This is Jesus speaking, is this microphone on? Whatever Easter is to you, this is what Easter is to Me…

YOU ARE RISEN, now get the hell out!

Grace is brave. Be brave.”

– Chris Kratzer, author of Leatherbound Terrorism

You Are Accepted


“I have come to the autumn of my life and a kind of summing-up time. Every day increases my awareness that grace has been my constant companion. I have soared on the wings of the morning and stumbled in the abyss that’s hidden in the night, only to hear a voice saying, “Yes, always yes.”

Paul Tillich speaks of this grace: “Sometimes at that moment a wave of light breaks into our darkness and it is as though a voice were saying: ‘You are accepted. You are accepted,’ accepted by that which is greater than you, and the name of which you do not know. Do not ask for the name now; perhaps you will find it later. Do not try to do anything now; perhaps later you will do much. Do not seek for anything; do not perform anything; do not intend anything. Simply accept the fact that you are accepted.”

– Jeff Grace, Traveling on Grace Street

Every Step Is Grace


“Grace is like a thread running through our lives that is more than adequate for every circumstance, every detour, and every step we take, and nothing can separate us from this grace. It is never about me. It is never about you. It is always about tapping into the amazing grace of Love.”

– Jeff Blake, Homestretch: This Journey on Grace Street