This is the promised Part Three of my QUIET-PEACE-GRACE set of essays.
So I just listened to a cloud and held my breath and smiled at a stranger. Then he smiled at someone during their rudeness to him, and the rude one flew to a far country and smiled and someone about to pick up a rocket launcher listened to a cloud. So now we have peace, just like that? Well, yes and no. Yes, I and the stranger driving by my roses and the rude clerk and the farway fighter do now have a connection in peace. No, not all the other neighbors nor all the other customers treated rudely nor all the other soldiers in that far way camp instantly experience peace. BUT……..
All the other neighbors and all the other customers and all the other soldiers now stand right beside a presence of QUIET and PEACE. QUIET and PEACE radiating outward from just one single person in each time and place form an aura, an almost-halo, a CLOUD, if you will, of prescient GRACE. Yes, GRACE: that which makes spiritual growth possible. And is not spiritual growth totally essential to build an environment for PEACE?
Why is GRACE necessary for spiritual growth? It is necessary just as a seed is necessary to a plant, just as water and air and light and proper soil are necessary to a plant. But can the plant survive, much less grow, if it is stepped upon in haste? No, the plant must be allowed to be still, be “quiet” within its space in order to experience the peace necessary for fruitful growth. WE must allow ourselves quiet and peace before we can receive enough water and light and air and nutrients to soak into ourselves to grow, to thrive. And is this not one of the forms of GRACE? And if carrying GRACE inside us, would we not then be fostering PEACE just by our very presence? Would we not then be links in a chain of peace?
Now, are we simply dropped into little spaces of quiet and peace? No, we surely are not. Therefore, we must just stop, hold a breath, slow our seeking hearts, empty our searching minds, and become like Gandhi and Solzhynitsn and Jesus of Nazareth before Pilate. Like them, we must just be quiet both with our mouths and within our very souls.
May GRACE abound!