Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thoughts Of A Mind in Crisis

Sitting at home dealing with frustration. The OT cancellation of my power wheelchair consultation. The death of my wheelchair and the search for a replacement. The turmoil my days have been thrown into, I began to think. Oddly, about holiness. I know, I know that's an odd tangent - but my mind works in mysterious ways.

At one time I thought holiness came from a set of behaviours, more precisely un-behaviours. Not swearing. Not drinking. Not smoking. Not staring at my neighbours ass. That sort of thing. But then I noticed the oddest things.

Many who do not swear are cursed with self righteousness.

Many who do not drink are often drunk on self importance.

Many who do not smoke oddly spend a lot of time fuming.

It seems such an easy way into the state of grace, of holiness, to simply not engage in behaviour that - to my mind - are petty. Surely something like holiness requires at least a bit of doing rather than non-doing.

I know, I know, I've heard the sermons that talk about how grace is a gift. And I think it is ... but I think it's a gift that requires giving. I think holiness in spirit becomes holiness in action. I don't think that grace can exist in quiet places. I don't think that holiness would know what to do without noise and clutter and demands.

I've been on the phone today, all day on and off with people. Some who are being paid to assist me. Some who are being paid to assist others. And I noticed something. It's in the tone of voice - when I know that someone cares, and I feel comforted. It's in the words chosen - when I know that someone is trying, and I feel reassured. It's how the words suddenly seem like they are spoken to the rhythm of a fast beating heart, and I feel understood. It's in those moment that I feel someone else's grace surround me. It's in those moments that I feel a holy connection.

I wonder, now, if grace is possible at all - in isolation. I wonder, too, if holiness can happen in a solitary heart. I wonder.

Much of what we do with and to and for others comes, I know, from the wellspring of goodness in each of us. I believe that every parent of every child reading this blog knows what it is to want to just do and do and do ... to make things better. I know that every professional reading this blog have had days where they just hung their head and cried in frustration.

I know that grace is possible.

I know that holiness comes. And it comes with cost.

I just didn't know how much I needed it.

So I end the day with hope that everything will be fixed tomorrow. Because people tried hard to help me. Because people listened to me. Because there was, at least a smidgen of grace left in a busy world ...

And for this I am thankful.


John R. said...

Bruce Cockburn wrote a beautiful Christmas song whereby the "holy" Jesus, who some of us embrace religiously, is one who hangs out with hookers and bums. Indeed, I believe holy people are those that are less inclined to associate with Parliament or Royalty and more likely to be on the barstool listening to those in need of soul repair. Holy people are the folks who give of themselves so that others can live better lives.....then go out for a beer with their friends.

I hope the wheelchair issue is resolved soon, Dave...I cannot locate a chair to meet your needs here in NY....I tried to no avail.....sorry..still looking..

Some of the words to the Bruce Cockburn song are below...it is called Cry of A Tiny Babe.

There are others who know about this miracle birth
The humblest of people catch a glimpse of their worth
For it isn't to the palace that the Christ child comes
But to shepherds and street people, hookers and bums
And the message is clear if you've got [you have] ears to hear
That forgiveness is given for your guilt and your fear
It's a Christmas gift [that] you don't have to buy
There's a future shining in a baby's eyes

Anonymous said...

Wow, Wow, Wow. To the blog, John R and Bruce Cockburn. What an inspirational start to my day. thank-you. MDN

Wheelie Catholic said...

I have some calls in, sent some emails too since wheelchairs can always be shipped wherever you are. If I find anything, will let you know. Am so very very sorry you're going through this.

Lisa said...

Don't you think grace is a beautiful word? I could have used a little today.

Lisa (pounding her head in frustration)

CT said...

Dave, this one was great.

I'm afraid the challenge of the shift in perspective you describe ("holy" as distinct from the hidebound trapings of "holiness") will incite some ire out in the world. People don't like to be challenged about something they consider a sure thing, and there's nothing like one's own righteousness a target for that.

Ah, well, then ... time to raise some ire. ;)