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The Presence

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“It is not about ritual, or doctrine, or dogma, or teachings, or institutions that sometimes lead only to the chattering mind. It is about the heart. It is about glory. It is about Presence.

Greg Kirby wrote me these words about chiseling and Presence:

“Michelangelo came to mind when I read your powerful words today. There is a beautiful correlation between Michelangelo’s chiseling away at a lump of stone while holding in his heart a knowing of the beauty that lives within the lump of stone. His purpose was to chisel away with childlike excitement and hold space for what appears behind each chiseled piece. “Maybe this piece is where it’s hiding … maybe the next?” He continued sculpting with a deep knowing/sensing that the beauty is only moments away.

As you chisel away at your masterpiece (your place of service in love) you will, in the blink of an eye, find the magic, the beauty, the love … You. And as you have gotten closer, the oneness of everything, one word at a time, reveals itself more and more. I believe this is what the Bible calls “working out our salvation.” And I think it’s the most beautiful process in the universe.

Even the wasted pieces are beautiful because they have played a role in cloaking the Source. They have lived with the Source and released—as did Judas—to become a heap in order to make way for something much greater.”

– Jeff Blake, Homestretch

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Both Sides

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“I am the shore and the ocean, awaiting myself on both sides.”

~ Dejan Stojanovic, The Shape

Painting by William Evelyn Osborn (1895)

Communication From Our Hearts

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“Let’s not get bogged down on whom or what we pray to. Let’s just say prayer is communication from our hearts to the great mystery, or Goodness, or Howard; to the animating energy of love we are sometimes bold enough to believe in; to something unimaginably big, and not us.”

~ Anne Lamott, Help Thanks Wow

Painting by Alfred Sisley (1874)

Movements of Grace

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“To be healed of resentment and move into gratitude requires me to dance — to believe again, even amid my pain, that God will orchestrate and guide my life. The mystery of the dance is that its movements are discovered in taking the steps one by one: Some slow, some quick. Some smooth, some not. If all steps on the journey are movements of grace, we can be grateful for every moment we have lived, knowing that all is grace.”

~ Henri Nouwen, Spiritual Formation

Ever hear someone remark about your “gracefulness” when you have had an accident? Maybe you make the remark yourself trying to cover up embarrassment over falling, bumping into something, etc. “I’m so graceful!”

Turns out those words and a humble smile really do allow grace into our lives. Life is full of “happy accidents” if we just allow ourselves to see them for what they are. Movements of grace.