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On Making it Through

September 17, 2011

I’m wrapped in an old knitted afghan on my couch.  My fingers can poke through its holes where the yarn has been stretched wide.  My knees are tilted up toward my chest as I cradle a cup of coffee in one hand and James Broughton poetry in another.  Words and coffee.  Coffee and words.  Warmth for the soul on this first Fall morning.

The oppressive heat of the summer was lifted last night.  I don’t know where it went or who had the good sense to lift the lid of the East coast summer incubator, but I’m so glad it’s gone.  It’s been replaced by something crisp, something new and inviting and invigorating.  It’s been replaced by air I can breathe in rather than air I must chew up and swallow.  In just the matter of an evening, I’m given a lift in my spirit that was so desperately needed.

And this is where I sit in my year of Tangible Grace.  On a sofa, sipping coffee, and feeling like I’ve been given enough grace to make it through the coming days.  The tasks are no less daunting.  The concerns and the worries and the anticipations have not settled themselves.  All the unknowns and insecurities and moments of discomfort are still here – they still exist.

But the job of grace is not to remove those things.

Its work is not to eradicate the realness of life.

The job of grace, real tangible grace, is to carry us through in spite of those things.  To help us find beauty in the breakdown.  To give strength where there is little to be found.  To rejuvenate, and encourage and lift up high.  Grace holds my hand while I push through my everyday.  It shows me that small bit of clearing when the woods seem too thick.  It reminds me that work, good work, is something of value.

And it’s just enough to get me through.

And miraculously, all I need for today, is just enough.

“And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.'” ~2 Corinthians 12:9~

“Having Come This Far”

I’ve been through what my through was to be
I did what I could and couldn’t
I was never sure how I would get there

I nourished an ardor for thresholds
for stepping stones and for ladders
I discovered detour and ditch

I swam in the high tides of greed
I built sandcastles to house my dreams
I survived the sunburns of love

No longer do I hunt for targets
I’ve climbed all the summits I need to
and I’ve eaten my share of lotus

Now I give praise and thanks
for what could not be avoided
and for every foolhardy choice

I cherish my wounds and their cures
and the sweet enervations of bliss
My book is an open life

I wave goodbye to the absolutes
and send my regards to infinity
I’d rather be blithe than correct

Until something transcendent turns up
I splash in my poetry puddle
and try to keep God amused.

~ James Broughton ~

(Packing Up For Pardise: New and Selected Poems 1946-1996)

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Erika permalink
    September 17, 2011 9:06 pm

    Dear friend,

    As I was reading this post, I thought that sometimes maybe God wants to tell me something, so he whispers it in your ear – knowing that you will write it more beautifully than the words would go together in my head. Then I check my inbox and there it is. Simple and real and helping to sustain me. Thank you for writing. I love you.

  2. September 18, 2011 12:41 pm

    I do not think I’ve ever received such a wonderful comment. I’m smiling in a very sheepish little way that God is teaching you the same things He is teaching me. I love you too.

  3. September 18, 2011 10:05 pm

    Amen, sister. That’s all. Just that.

    • September 19, 2011 8:35 pm

      Bless you, Diana. I love hearing your words of affirmation and support. And all God’s people said…AMEN!

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