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​Spiritual Friday Theme: Grace

Several weeks ago, I stuck my head into one of our transport vans as the patients were heading home and asked, "What should we talk about for our next Spiritual Friday?" Someone yelled out, "Second chances!!!" So, I thought about the spiritual principle involved in second chances: grace.

Grace is always available. G-d's unconditional love is all around us and always deep within us. We need only to let go and accept it. Grace give us our second chances.

We began our Spiritual Friday with readings, meditation, and a beautiful rendition of "Amazing Grace” by Celtic Woman.

"Grace is always present, waiting to bestow its healing breath upon whoever draws near. It is we who must approach in the stillness. It is we who must open to receive. Grace is a constant. We are the variable. The more constant our surrender, the more grace-filled we become." -Anne Mortifee

Whichever way we turn, O G-d, there is your face

in the light of the moon and patterns of stars,

in scarred mountain rifts and ancient groves,

in mighty seas and creatures of the deep.

Whichever way we turn, O G-d, there is your face

in the light of eyes we love,

in the salt of tears we have tasted,

in weathered countenances east and west,

in the soft skin glow if the child everywhere.

Whichever way we turn, O G-d, there is your face

there is your face

among us.

-John Philip Newell

The patients were deeply touched by the music and even more so after we discussed how it came to be written – how it was inspired by a dark, hopeless, and shame-filled life that miraculously changed because of a spiritual experience and an awakening to the unconditional love of G-d. "I once was lost but now I'm found. Was blind but now I see."

There were many inspiring words from the patients this day. For example, one patient shared, "Because people did not give up on me, I didn't give up on myself. To me, that's grace."

We then asked the group: When have you experienced the grace of G-d? Answers included:

  • "When I'm with my mentally challenged aunt."
  • "From my chaplain at boarding school."
  • "My housekeeper."
  • "My dog."

This was my favorite quote of the day: "G-d doesn't love you because you're good, G-d loves you because G-d is good."

Amazing grace.

Reverend Laurie Durgan