Saturday 7 June 2008

Sometimes I catch myself trying to work out the intricacies of certain things in my life, to find the magical key that will rev them up, move them forward, get me to where I want to be. This is despite the fact that I know that the best parts of my life happen when I'm not orchestrating them. Not the one driving my life so much as playing all the instruments in it. Involved on the deepest level, but not the author so much as the narrator.

Depending on my mood, this realisation is either cause for deep denial, or the best kind of deep relaxation. More often these days it is the second option. "I'm not in charge" breathes itself out of my pores, slows my heart rate, opens my eyes. If I'm taking notice, I see flutters of reminders - generally something whimsical or mystical, seemingly insignificant but which shouts to me. God knows how to speak to me so I hear. He shouts to me in colours, in the play of dark against light, in the juxtaposition of strange things. His shouts to me trickle into my soul like honey. His reminders are gentle, so gentle, like fingers tracing down a beloved's face, reminding me of what I already know. That I gain my life at the very moment I lose it.

In that knife edge lies an entire universe.

Billboards implore us to save our lives at every turn. They often couch it in terms of valuing our life, piggybacking on ethics, or love, or care, but it's still the same thing. Its counterfeit is so obvious, it's a wonder that we all fall for it many days of our lives.

Losing my life to save it speaks very little to me these days of ultimate destinies, of heaven or hell. I have battled long and hard with those things, working out my salvation with fear and trembling for many years. These days, losing my life to save it speaks instead to the eternal life that I am living right here in my body, to the choice that I have at any one time to try to swing my life into my own mould, or to fall into the wave of it and flow. The paradox is that it is 14 million times easier to do it the second way, and 14 million times easier to do it the first. And that is no typo :)

It's the best kind of cosmic joke - or the cruellest, depending on which side of the fence you're on, that the only way to life is through losing it. We lose our lives in minutes when we forget that we are immersed in minutes and in our lives. How frustrating it is, being stuck in the midst of the seemingly never-ending quest to save our own lives because we can't see how to lose them. What an unseen grace and relief it is when we have lost our lives, that we realise that God won't allow us to save them on our terms. What a relief it is to know that Love's patience knows no bounds, that this ongoing fight between law and grace, saving our own lives and losing them to Love, goes on for as long as it needs to go on, but that each tiny trickle is carving out the rocks of our souls.

Law is shoved in my face every goddamn day in countless different ways and forms. My fear shoves law in my own face. Grace hides in music notes, in a refusal to give us what we are screaming for. Or, sometimes, grace is hidden in giving us what we are screaming for when we fall down hard on our faces. Grace is found even within nose stings. Grace will pick up everything and use it to Love's purpose. That's just what she does.

"Trust that the clay knows its own shape," Maggie said to me the other day. It took the focus off me straight away. Gave me room to breathe so that the real me could stand up and shape something. The way I'm shaping my life. With one hand on the wheel and my striving packed away. I take it out and put it on again often, especially when I'm fearful or in pain. But it's always been an ill fit. It's always been too tight around the middle, cutting off my circulation, stopping my flight.


  1. Wonderful post, Sue! You are touching on the most profound things here, I think.

    "He shouts to me in colours..." "Grace hides in music notes, in a refusal to give us what we are screaming for." Beautiful!

    Love & blessings from the other end of the Earth...


  2. I have one word for you:



  3. How did I miss this one? I just linked to it from Tina's blog....thank you Tina.

    This is such wonderful stuff Sue. Everytime I log onto my blog I am reminded of this thing of losing our life so to find it. That is why I chose Faithfully Dangerous as the name for my blog because it was playing out in my life in such a wonderful way when I began this crazy blogging experience.

    You are a blessing to me my friend and thank you for being so willing to share your journey with us so openly.

  4. Thanks heaps Kent for those words. I love the way we people get to speak the truth into each other's lives. It's like we all get knitted together with words. You're a blessing to me. Thanks for listening and being open in return :)


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