Margie and I, several weeks ago, took up talking about an effort I shut down after my son’s death. I never wanted to let the ideas die, but I needed to let it rest until my trauma had cooled. Out talking about my second adventure into a psychopath’s moments of success opened the door, allowing her to catch sight of my prior effort. While the psychologist in her hasn’t given up on my second adventure, that deep spiritual side of her is also interested in what I call, “Accidents of Grace”.
Below is a somewhat buffed up response to Margie’s questioning of why I used such a title?
In an effort to move over to your inquiry about “grace”, I’ll let the diatribe of my no longer agile mental process kick out of gear and coast us on toward who knows where. I figure freewheeling on the precipice of my thought process is always the best.
My motivation in linking the word “accidents” with that other one we call “grace” is meant to convey our chronic misunderstanding not of God but of ourselves. As I went about generating this imagery my attention was caught up in those masses who abandoned our Lord as He ceased to heed to their beck and call in the Gospels. I guess up toward 90 percent of those following him, abandoned him as he pulled back from being instep with their psychosocial projections! Via my feeble eyes, they pulled away because of what HE revealed to them of themselves.
So then, in my socially repugnant mind, I imagine God’s grace as abundant but misunderstood, misapplied and grossly misappropriated by 100% of humanity across the whole of our time here. To make this a little clearer, I do not think of each of us as being consistently erroneous in all areas of life. Like everyone else, I unevenly apply to myself the same pilfering of God’s grace as I’ve fitted to everyone else. Given that stance, I then do agree with much of Grace voiced by most every posturing called Christianity but definitely not fully.
And so, if by seeing one context of my life as an act of God’s grace, as advocated by my favored theological stance, I then expect an outcome properly fitted to how I think God’s love is to be working out in my life. What then do I struggle to not project onto those contexts’ as things don’t work out as expected? Both, that I must have done something wrong or that God’s timing is different than expected. So, either I missed the mark or that God held that grace back until I make a correction. Here is the crux of my point. I see it as more likely that by so thinking I am projecting the lie(s) I have learned to call my(-)self onto God.
By choosing to see it as more likely that what I have identified as “grace” is justification for sinful behaviors, I have begun trying to open the door, allowing God to show me where, what and how His grace really is. So doing means that I am learning to question my theological and psychosocial projections onto God. Not because I am convinced those are uniformly mistaken but rather, more likely, misappropriated by me.
Rather than holding to the Church, which is us, as if my favored group, the Eastern Orthodox, are without error I hold to them because of what I see in and through them as truer to who I am learning to see myself over the past decades. My struggle is to slam the breaks on my unconscious tendencies to judge others by my own sinful projections of what God has said rather than to bite my lips knowing, I’m the one speaking and not God.
My lack of confidence in any particular church being right is a rejection of what I see as a primary lie. I choose to not walk away because of their not seeing things my way. By so doing my feeble attempt is to keep away from dominating. Unfortunately, I am certain that even here I am infested with the termites called mistakes.