It’s Not Pixie-Dust

I’ve had a – um, shocking? – revelation about the nature of Grace (capital G – God’s grace). Well, it’s shocking only because it’s taken me so long to understand, to get it.

Ballet dancer are graceful (insert big “Duh!” here). The word “graceful” brings to mind all sorts of artistic endeavors, especially female artistry.   We see basketball players and football players as graceful too, especially when you see them make the play at the professional level.  But graceful motion appears every day.  The AstroWife is very graceful when she makes me dinner every night, moving efficiently and effortlessly, wasting nothing and looking gorgeous at the same time.

Where does this come from?  Practice?  Maybe, but let me tell you a story…

I was standing in an office kitchenette, conversing with an acquaintance about some forgotten work-related matter, when he accidently knocked over a glass.   It was good size, heading directly for the sink and was most definitely not going to survive the fall.

But I happened to be standing so that it was within reach, and with Bruce Lee type reflexes, I caught the glass (thereby saving its life) and deftly placed it back from whence it came.

“You take the martial arts, don’t you?” my friend asked.

“Yes – a few years now.”

“I have a theory…” he said.  “I think the martial arts have a tendency to prepare you for that kind of thing.  It’s not that anyone’s reflexes are improved very much, but that ‘the arts’ put you in a frame of mind so that swift, accurate motions become easier.  You learn to have less resistance to them.”

That was a long time ago, but over the years I’ve been unable to add up to all the moments in my life that gave me a chance (trained me?  prepared me?) to save that glass, to have that moment of grace, not even counting what it took to have me standing in just the right spot at just the right moment.

There was a Jerry Lewis movie, set in Northern Africa, iirc (Lewis played a character in the French Foreign Legion).  At the age of, I think, eight, I came away mesmerized by the small bits of judo I saw in that movie.  Tried to imitate it, too, unsuccessfully, of course, but not too unintelligently for a kid.  I put my early fascination with the martial arts on hold while I tried to find graceful motion playing baseball (maybe once or twice, I found it!), or tennis, or the good ol’ gym class obstacle course.  High school varsity wrestling was about as close as I got, and that wasn’t much.  I’m no athlete, but I kept trying.  Always motion.

I finally did take the martial arts, as an adult, and I did catch that glass.  It wasn’t so much because of that training, but because of – everything, and nothing.  To this day, no one can point out exactly where it came from, but I had a graceful moment.

Like you, dear reader, I’m sure I’ve had more than one.  Probably.  But most of them went unrecognized (oh, sheesh – I tend to remember the awkward moments forever!  Shouldn’t do that).  Have you ever had a friend ask you an important, sensitive question, and experience finding just the right words to express a truth, seemingly out of nowhere?  At the time, maybe it felt merely like the awkward moment was avoided – something negative didn’t happen.   But you’re not sure where the words came from.  And sometimes, say, in the face of tragedy, no words are adequate.   Yet, something, some small thing that comes from inside is just the right thing to do.  Where does that come from?

How about, from the Grace of God?  That’s what I think now.   Graceful goes beyond motion, and even beyond what we say.  Ultimately, Grace is in how we conduct ourselves in the face of everyday occurrences and in how we conduct our lives.  That is, perhaps, what has taken me so long to see, even as I recognize it, poorly, in others.

Explore posts in the same categories: Catholism, General, Personal

One Comment on “Grace”

  1. Atgkrjue Says:

    oedJqW comment6 ,

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