October 27, 2022

Nov 2, 2022

Image: Barbara Ryther

Thoughts from the beach: Grace

I’ve been thinking about the most recent Medications post, about how hard it can be to say “I’m sorry” particularly when the world seems unforgiving.

To say “I forgive you” is also hard, but for different reasons.  We hug our hurt to ourselves, protecting it, nurturing it, unable to let it go.  Our hurt, our anger, our self-righteousness are all so important to us, so much a part of us – both a shield and a weapon.  We think our hurt gives us energy and protection but in truth it drains us and separates us from those around us. Offering forgiveness, letting the hurt go, frees us, removes obstacles and heals our scars. 

When I walk on the beach as the tide is going out, I see what the retreating waves have done to the sand, and to the accumulation of stones, shells, seaweed, and even footprints.  Washed clean, free of obstacles and scars.  A fresh start.  Forgiveness, written in sand and water.  

But even more than forgiveness – grace.  As with God’s grace, the sand didn’t have to ask for the tide, it is freely given twice a day.  The sand is not measured for worthiness each time the tide rises and falls, it is simply washed clean and given a fresh start.  And day after day, night after night, it accepts this act of grace.  If only we could do the same with God’s grace.

Barbara Ryther