We hope that you are safe and well.
Today's Meditation features a reflection by Dr. Cathy Collins from The Mercy by the Sea Retreat Center. She invites us to relate with mercy and grace and not with judgment and blame.
We invite you to join us as we commit ourselves to working tirelessly to end systemic and structural racism in our society, in the church, in healthcare, in the workplace--wherever it shows up so that everyone may come to have more abundant life. May this meditation nourish our contemplative-active hearts and sustain all of us in action.
In the spirit of our philosophy of co-creating community and our awareness that the Spirit speaks through each of us, we invite you to share your meditations with us as well. We truly believe that it is God's economy of abundance: when we share our blessings, our thoughts, our feelings, we are all made richer.
We hope and pray that you find peace, healing, hope and the infusion of joy in your life!
With our love and care,
Ron and Jean
MEDITATION 463: Mercy and Grace THE NEED FOR GRACE
“I realize how desperately I need grace; therefore, I try to lavishly give it.”
There is nothing like facing a major decision on the third day in your new job. Hurricane Henri set that scenario up for me. A multitude of decisions had to be made. What level of preparation needed to be undertaken for the facility and grounds? Do we postpone or cancel the incoming retreat starting at the same time the height of the storm was expected? And how do you make those decisions when the information that you need to make those decisions is ever shifting?
I have learned over the years that there are times when there are no easy answers and that the best decision made in the moment can be the wrong decision when it comes to pass. This was the case with our decision to cancel the retreat. The arrival of Henri shifted to the east and made our decision to cancel look foolish. Just as easily, though, it could have shifted west and gained steam. If we decided not to cancel or postpone, we could have endangered the lives of several people.
I find that our human nature is to want to grasp onto as much control as possible, particularly when faced with things that are out of our control, like a hurricane, a snowstorm, or a virus. We worry how people are going to react to change. We’re not very comfortable with the messiness of the unknown.
It is why grace and mercy are so important in these moments for the people making the decisions and those who experience the subsequent fallout. When grace and mercy are extended, new possibilities can arise that may offer new pathways for better decisions. When I think about my own daughters, the organizations I’ve led, and the communities I encounter and engage with—including government—I wonder how things might have been different if I had offered grace and mercy instead of blame and judgment. Expressing God’s love through grace and mercy is not always easy; yet it certainly can reframe a moment in small and sometimes profound ways.
May you experience all the grace and mercy that you need today. And may it strengthen you to extend that same grace and mercy to others.
Dr. Cathy Collins