Communities are a sign that it is possible to live on a human scale, even in the present world. They are a sign that we do not have to be slaves to work, to inhuman economies, or to the stimulations of artificial leisure. A community is essentially a place where we learn to live at the pace of humanity and nature.
But frail as I am, the grace of God rises like the slow swell of morning in my darkness. His love is present, pure and untainted by need, and it runs through the veins of my fallen self in a remaking stream. His love does purify my love, his grace heals my need so that I can offer something of myself without demanding something in return. God grows slowly in me, a fullness of Love and slowly, I am remade. But it’s all in progress, half done, just begun, and not yet finished.
We yearn for absolutes, I think. We want the black and white assurance that if I do this or believe that my motives will be absolutely pure and my actions will be right. But the black and white, the gem-cut answers of diamond clarity are rarely to be had in human life.
W live in the broken place, in an earth bruised and blackened with grief, yet still pulsing with the beauty that began it. Brightness is all about us, light and love, music and friendship, an air that fills the lungs of our souls with life even as our feet are mired in death. We breathe it, dying into life as our God draws us to himself. Grief is the music to which we are born, yet joy is the rhythm by which we walk our long way to all that God intends us to be.
Let’s resolve to tell ourselves the good story, the gospel story, often enough, vividly enough, truthfully enough, that it displaces all the lesser stories, and shapes who we really are. (Mark Buchanan)