Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Grace Be With Us
Words and books have always been my salvation, especially in times of trouble. I read the following words from Jennifer Weiner's book, "Certain Girls," which I finished last night. One of the book's characters, Joy, has to write a speech for her bat mitzvah. She scraps what she has prepared and wings it. This is taken from her speech but I've left out some of the parts to make it more applicable to the meaning I want to convey here.
"I'm supposed to tell you about what I've learned this year... but really, the truth is , what I learned this year is that life is hard. Good people die for no reason. Little kids get sick. The people who are supposed to love you end up leaving. When you don't get what you want, you take what's left and make the best of it. Even when I did the wrong thing or made the wrong choice, my family stood with me. Bad things happen. Stuff doesn't work out. Everyone has sorrow. Everyone has obligations. You lean on the people who love you. You do the best you can, and you keep going."
I pulled out my battered and highlighted "The Five Things We Cannot Change" by Dave Richo and reread words that had profound meaning for me as I struggled during the time of my divorce and moving from my house. His wisdom is "... we notice that we sometimes have to bear more than we can handle, and we may fold under the pressure. Our purpose in life is not to remain upright at all times but to collapse with grace when that is what has to happen. Thus the fact that we are given more than we can bear at times is not a flaw in life or in us..."
Richo is a proponent of loving-kindness and he ends the chapter (Pain is Part of Life) with this:
"As I say yes to the fact of suffering, may I accept the dark side of life and find a way through it, and may I then become an escort of compassion to those who also suffer."
These words were a gift to me from two vastly different people, authors and books. I offer them out now to others in hope that they may offer healing, compassion, strength and grace to us all. My oldest is composing a new musical piece for his final in music composition that his band director wants the band to play at the spring concert. He has titled it "Grace Be With Us." Those words and feelings of a 17-year-old seem to say it all.