Surprised by Grace

The flowers of the field

There are some small things that one notices and some small things that it is easy to overlook, and  such is the state of things in the garden at the moment, it could be said that quite a number of things are best overlooked - such as the weeds that I can’t separate from the self-sown seedlings that might just be a flower that I want to preserve.  Let them get bigger together, then I can pick and choose.


This attitude might present a metaphor for action or lack of it in many a thing; slipping over what should be separated because it is easier; speed-reading a passage to get the gist without bothering with the detail; glancing at the titles of news items without really engaging with them.  How do we draw out what we need; preserve what we should really care for; know what is important?


I have a feeling that there are a few biblical principles floating around in my head in relation to this, such as the parable of the wheat and the tares.  Perhaps less obviously, but just as importantly, Jesus tolerates the waywardness in our hearts for us to find our own way back to God.  This seems to resonate with the recent comment on the line in the Lord’s Prayer about us and temptation: “do not let us fall into temptation” rather than “lead us not into temptation” which has formed the subject of the debate.


Actually this blog isn’t really coherent, but a jumble of thoughts which may relate to one another, but are not truly in a logical sequence.  The thread, if there is one perceptible, is that grace is not forced on us.  Sometimes we discover it present though the discerning of what is important; sometimes in the process of convincing ourselves that our path needs to change; sometimes in not knowing whether or not we are being led astray or falling away through no cause of our own. Neither by our own effort, not yet without our will and desire can we hold for this day the merciful goodness of God, which he pours upon us.


John Mann