There is a certain clarity that is occurring right now that is startling.
I am finding that on the days when I interact with my mom and with my dad, those are rough days.
On the days when I just push it away, even if I think about it, I don't have to carry it with me.
There is a cynicism and a paranoia that is overlaid with a bizarre forced, brittle optimism that they both live. I don't know how to relate to it, and my mind struggles away from it. Because there's no forgiveness in it.
It's no big secret that I believe in God. I'm the wife of a Presbyterian Minister who has always thought that all of his congregations should be a little more militant (read: less onward Christian Soldiers, and more Socialist Jesus). I was not raised Presbyterian, but thanks be to the Creator that John Calvin came into the Reformation, because I don't know how I would get religion if it wasn't for utter depravity, predestination, and Grace.
Grace is the sweetest, most remarkable gift that God ever gave to Creation. The ability to be utterly broken and questionably worthy but to still find wholeness.
I am a judgmental, self-indulgent, vindictive, harsh, unforgiving, waspish elitist. But then I am extended Grace and the knowledge that I was made for more and I am so overcome with that love that I want to give and to share it.
When I talk to my parents, I do not see that Grace extended to others. It's not that they aren't gracious and kind to those who are likewise to them, but they are so hesitant to extend Grace when other people are human.
It's the season of Lent, and I've been casting about for a discipline. I've already been on a diet since January 1 (5 pounds, woo-hoo!), so I pretty much already gave up a lot of stuff. But I realized that what I needed to focus on doing this Lent was to find and extend Grace, even when I'm weary, even when I can't think straight, even when I am full of anger because that is the only way I know how to stand on the edge of the pit to get someone else out. Otherwise, I'm just jumping down in there, too.