Posted by Simon Parke, 01 March 2019, 1.16pm
It is the climate grace we lack.
There’s a lot of striving around; but this is quite different.
Self-helpery is full of striving, as is much religion.
We make a project of ourselves: ‘I must be better – or else!!’
There is no end to strivery, no finish point; which is why it sells so many books and courses.
‘One more push!’
With striving, we never make it, we never arrive home in the harbour; we’re always disappointing, always failing, always not quite there, out on the big sea of life.
Grace is the opposite of striving.
It doesn’t judge you on what you achieve because it doesn’t judge.
This is the aspect of Julian of Norwich I most like; the gracious climate she creates, in which God calls her ‘my dear darling’.
There is no space in the divine character for judgement or assessment; and no cold shoulder offered when everything gets messy.
When, in one of her parables, the servant falls over on an errand for his lord, he is terrified.
But the lord, instead of getting angry – ‘How could I be angry?’ he asks - buys him a new, and rather better, coat.
If you sense you lack grace, and tire of strivery, do nothing about it.
Grace will come and find you, you dear darling.