Notes from Brother Jay

I like words.  I like to play with them even though I’m not a big fan of puzzles or games with words.  Words are powerful.  The adage we teach our children suggests objects hurt us more, but words inflict pain where medicine cannot reach.  Hearts are bruised and broken by words.  
      Taken out of context words can confuse and frustrate.  Aimed correctly, they will shatter mythologies we hold dear.  With a certain spin, with only half truths, words turn people against each other.  
      Words also heal.  They can be a salve to our hearts.  To hear words of acceptance, of respect, of being valued bring waves of encouragement.  

      Words are what God used to reveal Himself to humanity.  Words of Creation.  Words of rescue and redemption.  Words of instruction and warning.  
      Words of love, offered to show us who God is, and how much He wants a relationship with us.  With everyone.  Paul writes, “28 There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28)  One!  In Christ Jesus.  How?  By loving each other as Christ loves us.  
      By playing the “grace” card!
      The grace card means I make a choice to give grace to someone who doesn’t deserve healing words.  In fact, they deserve the opposite for whatever pain, damage, dishonesty, or theft perpetrated on us.  Grace offers an opportunity to temper the justice they might have earned, and still may have to experience.  (Grace doesn’t always eliminate the need to thwart the judicial process, or the need to provide retribution.)  
      Grace says a person is important, created in God’s image, loved by God.  With the divine Presence of the Holy Spirit in us, grace offers both the power and witness that we love them, too.  God doesn’t excuse sin.  Neither should we.  But we can temper our judgment and allow God to work through us.
      Let’s call it “graceism!”
11The words of the godly are a life-giving fountain;
    the words of the wicked conceal violent intentions.  (Proverbs 10:11)
      May we all be accused of lavishing God’s grace on everyone who crosses our path.  



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January 28-31, 2018

St. Simons Island Storytelling Festival
February 17-19, 2018

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