Grace upon grace...

One of my favorite U2 songs is "Grace" from the "All You Couldn't Leave Behind" CD. My Tucson band used to do a killer version of this back in the day and it still speaks volumes to me every time I listen to it. Take a listen and maybe you'll dig it, too.

Today in the midst of working on Sunday's message - and prayer and study - I got a totally spontaneous blessing - grace - from someone who doesn't know me but knew one of my dear old friends - my mentor - Ray Swartzback. And here's what is so sweet: he sent me a pix of Swartzy. Ray was my mentor in urban ministry back in NYC and we stayed friends and buds for all those years after seminary until he was taken back home after an illness I didn't know about.

I had written about Ray just because he touched my heart - and first I heard from one of his daughters - and then others - some grandchildren, too. And now from Ray's neighbor who sent me a picture. I am a blessed man... and I give Matt great thanks for his generosity and kindness. So here it is... a picture of Ray - one of my deepest encounters with God's grace - ever! Swartzy walked the walk... loved us all the best he could... and gave us hope and trust to believe that sometimes we could live into our best selves. And when we couldn't, God's grace was bigger than our shit! One of the saints.


Adam said…
What once was hurt
What once was friction
What left a mark
No longer stings
Because Grace makes beauty
out of ugly things

These lines speak volumes to me. I've been doing a lot of thinking about the link between "beauty" and the "image of God." I'm more and more convinced that grace is the vehicle that allows us to see the image of God in others as beauty.
RJ said…
I love this quote: "Beauty," observes Frederick Buechner, "is to the spirit what food is to the flesh...unlike food, however, it is something you never get your fill of. It leaves you always aching with longing not so much for more of the same as for whatever it is, deep within and far yeond both it and yourself, that makes it beautiful. The beauty of holiness is how the Psalms name it (Psalm 29:2) and as 'the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee' (PSalm 42) is the way they describe the ache and the longing."

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