As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame;
As tumbled over rim in roundy wells
Stones ring; like each tucked string tells, each hung bell’s
Bow swung finds tongue to fling out broad its name;
Each mortal thing does one thing and the same:
Deals out that being indoors each one dwells;
Selves–goes itself; myself it speaks and spells,
Crying What I do is me: for that I came.
I say more: the just man justices;
Kepps grace: that keeps all his goings graces;
Acts in God’s eye what in God’s eye he is–
Christ–for Christ plays in ten thousand places,
Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his
To the Father through the features of men’s faces.
– Gerard Manley Hopkins
I have been turning this staggering truth over in my mind, in quiet evenings when the dishwasher is humming and damp green smells come in through the open windows from the dark lawn. I know I have dealt out, each day, what dwells indoors: anxiety, impatience and selfishness that lurk in my heart, drawn to the surface by complaining children or a tired husband or, good grief, one more poopy diaper. That’s the real me, although I didn’t truly know it before these four precious people arrived in my life to challenge my plans and preferences.
And yet: it isn’t the real me. Something deeper dwells indoors. In God’s eyes I am–Christ. I can only fit in the category of the just because Jesus “justiced” for me ( to adopt Hopkins’ creative style of verb-making). And it’s only he who can keep my goings graces.
Which brings me to what I hope this blog will be: a place to record some of the many graces that fill my life. Some are blessings I am reveling in–big baby smiles, little boy laughter, flowers blooming in my back yard. Some feel less like graces at the moment–like my broken foot (more on that later). But all come to me through the same grace that keeps me in the happy, hard or just chaotic days that constitute my goings.
Since, then, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.
For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.
For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.
– Romans 5: 9-10, 19
I’ll be sharing snapshots of these graces, in words and pictures; if you want to enjoy them with us, you are welcome to read along!