The light of grace shines, every day, and all through the night. It envelopes the earth and is radiantly present in every moment. It is not visible with physical eyes; it can only be seen – and felt – with the eyes of the soul. As delicate and overpowered by our physical senses as these soul eyes are, every human being has them and uses them to see deeper into life, to see past the surface of things.
Why is it, then, that we don’t necessarily perceive this life renewing power of grace? Why is it that we don’t automatically feel its warmth, its meaning-filled hope bestowing light?
Rocks and rivers, flowers, grasses and trees, they all live outside, in the open interchange with the world above. With animals, we see the beginning of a life spent hidden, in part, from the heavens – in hives, nests, burrows and dens. We humans take it to a whole new level! We cover ourselves in clothing and move around in cars. We walk under umbrellas and sleep in houses under the covers. We work in buildings, basements, buses and trains, in offices and under the streets – we have become the most separated from the sky and her lights of all the creatures who live on the earth’s surface. For us, it becomes a kind of pilgrimage to go out into the country – to go camping and lie down and look up at the night sky, no roof above and no ‘light exhaust’ from a local city. Or to wake up early enough to sit silenty before a sunrise…
This development in humanity – moving into spaces that separate us from the world above the earth – corresponds to our decreasing sense of the presence of spirit in our life and in our world.
Previous generations recognized this and there have been major “back to the land” movements and other attempts to reverse this trend of cutting ourselves off from the sky, from heaven. But this separation is a gift. It is a gift because now, if we are to experience divinity, it will take a free, conscious act to turn our attention to what is above. It becomes an inner choice, a personal act of re-orientation in every individual to become a seeker of light.
We don’t notice the light of grace because we don’t have to. We are left completely free by the universe to turn away from it – or towards it. We can “pick up our palette and walk”. We can inwardly move to the place where the radiance flows down like light from our nearest star. We can move our selves into the Light of Grace. We need only turn those inner eyes of the soul ‘upwards’ to the the spiritual ‘sky’. We need only have the will to humbly place ourselves into the grace that shines down upon us at all times.
Patrick Kennedy is a priest in The Christian Community, movement for religious renewal in the D.C. area. You can find more information here: http://www.thechristiancommunity.org or here http://www.ccgwb.org