Are you ready to enter a deeper experience of grace? Grace is the emergence of what is whole and holy into what isn’t yet whole. That’s a very natural process. There are things in ourselves, in our creative field, that aren’t all together. Grace can relate to us personally, to what’s going on around us, to the people in our life. Or grace can relate to the creative field in which we are working.
In the natural order of things, that’s how Creation happens. We are here to be the Creator, to bring the creative spirit into what’s yet to be completed. There is nothing wrong with things being incomplete. There’s nothing wrong with the cycles of growth and healing in ourselves or in other people. Creation transpires for us as human beings when we are willing to bring the creative spirit into what is, as yet, incomplete in our world, without judging, condemning or avoiding it. That’s an experience of grace.
Grace is the truth of how Creation transpires in all facets of our human experience. It is the basis for creating a relationship that works. It is the basis for all human projects of whatever nature. Grace is the foundation for happiness and the foundation for health.
What is incomplete in human experience becomes unholy when a person consciously resists what is whole and holy. Incompleteness becomes unholy when someone consciously defends it and they fight and reject the creative compulsion that is whole and holy. That kind of conscious defensiveness sustains the incompleteness so that the form of Creation can’t evolve toward wholeness and completeness, which it naturally would if the incomplete state wasn’t defended and therefore perpetuated.
This is the state of a person who never truly matures because they are defending their immaturity. It is the state of a project when the person responsible for it rejects an intelligent plan for its completion. It is the state of a nation led by self-centered, self-serving power-hungry people who keep that nation in poverty. It is the state of the world at large.
So grace includes the experience of bringing what is whole and holy to that unholy mess. Grace is finding the coalface between the whole and the holy and what isn’t whole and may be unholy.
Many people are wandering around in a miasma of human experience. There is a great mixture with a great swirl of things happening inside of themselves and in the world in which they live. In that miasma, they can’t find the whole and the holy, and they’re not sure why things aren’t going the way they want them to go. They’re not sure why things are mixed up and incomplete, and they can’t find the pathway to bring completeness into their world.
We all have an opportunity to find grace; to embrace what is whole and holy. And then, to engage with what is in process, whether it is within ourselves, in someone close to us, or in the world around us.
This poem from Miriam Platt, from Cape Town, South Africa, depicts the process of coming to grace.
So many doors in the heart
One only to the Centre where I am.
So many stories told and retold,
One sound of Love clear and strong.
Choosing the Way of the Way,
One of all possibilities
Of all voices and sounds,
Comparison and complaint,
All discord brought to silence.
Choosing the straight gate home,
The way of all stillness
I am come
In powerful presence
Grace is a confrontation between what is incomplete and may be unholy and what is holy and whole. But it’s a battle-less war. It’s a confrontation without fight. It’s simply a meeting. It’s a meeting between the power of holiness in oneself and the creative field in which one is.
When a person has taken the journey and made the choices that Miriam depicts, they inherit the power of the Holy Spirit. The power of the Holy Spirit is not a religious idea. It’s not a biblical concoction. It’s the very power of Presence that’s within us and within all people and within all things. We as human beings are made in this miraculous way so that we have consciousness, we have a mind and a heart that can become aware of the holiness of all Being. In our human experience, Holy Spirit constellates as consciousness. It constellates in our presence as a human being, or at least it has the opportunity to, so that we have the power of grace to bring into our world.
The journey that Miriam is describing is a journey to the center of things in yourself, where what is already whole and holy resides. Even though there may be many elements in your life that are unfinished, you can always embrace what is already finished and whole at the center of who you are. Without doing that, how are things going to become finished around you? For a person who has all kinds of unresolve about who they are and what they’re doing, what’s important to them, what they’re serving, what they’re going to bring into the world, it is impossible to bring anything to a truly glorious conclusion. And our creations are meant to come to something glorious, whether it is a relationship, a family, an organization, an artistic project—all areas of creation have the potential of coming to glorious wholeness.
If we’re being a creator, there’s the joy of creation right here and now, and in every moment of creation. We are creating in this present moment and there’s joy to that. At the same time, we live in a world of space and time, so that our creations are meant to build over time and to have magnitude in space. They’re meant to be born and to thrive and to be whole in the world, and to come to a state of being finished. Finished isn’t dead and gone. Finished is mature and thriving. Finishing makes room for the next cycle of creation. It takes our creative work, bringing wholeness to what’s incomplete so that it may complete.
In that state of completion, our creations nourish us as human beings. If it is a relationship, when it comes to a state of wholeness and completeness we are nourished by it emotionally and spiritually. The tomatoes from our garden nourish us. A business that matures and thrives supports us financially.
When we complete something, it’s alive, and in turn there’s something that comes back to us out of what we’ve created. If we create a thriving world, that world nourishes humanity. So things are meant to come to completion in the world of space and time. They complete in space over a period of time.
But we’re unable to bring completion to things if we’re not bringing grace, if we’re not bringing what’s whole and complete in ourselves. So something has to complete in us. Completion doesn’t mean the end of things, but it does mean wholeness; it means holiness.
I don’t believe in never-ending spiritual journeys. There is something that is never-ending in life. But the journey to wholeness doesn’t have to be never-ending. We are spiritually designed to come to a place of resolution, wholeness and grace in ourselves. There may be ongoing issues even in our own physical body or in our own feeling realm. There may be issues to resolve in our mind. After all, what is happening in our humanity is connected to whatever is happening in the larger world in which we’re living, so we are not an island. But whatever is happening in your human capacities, you have the ability to be identified with the holiness in yourself and to bring that holiness to what’s incomplete. And to do so without ambivalence, without turning and without dithering.
If I feel something in my body, yes, I feel it. If I have some feelings going on in my emotional body, I feel it. But there is a whole lot of difference between sensing the presence of something incomplete and being sucked into identification with it in a hopeless state that will never go anyplace. Because if you become identified with what’s incomplete and unwhole in yourself, you’re done for—until that moment of grace when you realize, “No, that’s not who I am. I reject that as who I am. No, I’m the grace that comes into that experience. I am that grace. I am that holiness, that wholeness.”
There is a vast difference between holiness and sanctimoniousness. We don’t need any more sanctimoniousness on Planet Earth. I am talking about the very sanctity of life itself, the sacredness of who you are, who I am. We need more of that. We need to be identified with that in the middle of whatever is happening. If I can do that for myself, absolutely and unequivocally, if I’ve traveled that journey to center in myself, I can be there for you. I can hold the holiness of Being in the middle of your incompleteness—no problem. I can invite you to be in your holiness and hold it with me, and I can allow you to hold in holiness whatever’s incomplete in me.
As we hold what’s incomplete in wholeness and holiness, it has a chance to come together into completeness. If there is healing in our own heart and mind and then in our own body, we have the power of healing to bring to another person.
So for you now, where is the coalface, the confrontation between the whole and the unwhole, in your experience? Are you willing to face that confrontation, wherever it may be? It may be within your own chaotic mind or troubled feelings. It may be with a person close to you. It may be with somebody at work. It may be in your community, in your family, in this nation, in this world. Wherever it is, are you willing to face it? And where are you going to be in that confrontation? Are you going to find yourself identified with what’s not yet whole, with the unholy or the resistant patterns in yourself or in your field?
What’s not yet whole could be perfect if we let it be. There’s nothing wrong with things that aren’t whole. You can’t start any project without it being incomplete at the beginning. You can’t have a child without first having a baby who can’t yet walk. You can’t build a building without starting with only the foundation—even though they have modular homes that make it look like they are getting built all at once.
There are all kinds of hell that we create in our human experience when we’re not willing to bring our own wholeness, our own holiness, to the incompleteness that’s around us; when we judge and condemn what is incomplete and unholy. In that case, we damn the incompleteness to be forever incomplete, because it can’t complete in our experience if we are not complete.
In this creative process for which we are responsible, things do rightly come to completion. They come to a point of being done.
Done is an interesting word. It can mean many things. Grammatically, it’s the past participle of do. The definition of the word includes having been carried out or accomplished and cooked adequately.
The word has come to have all kinds of slang meanings. It can mean “totally worn out or exhausted,” as in “I’m done.” It can also refer to social acceptability, as in “It just isn’t done.” It is apparently urban slang for “slammed” or “plastered,” otherwise known as drunk—as in “I’m done,” or wasted. That’s not the kind of done I’m talking about!
I’m talking about allowing things to come to completion. It was one of the great injuries to the psyche of humanity to put people on an assembly line where they had the great frustration of working on a small component of the whole of what was being created, without seeing the whole thing done. They just stapled in that one staple, or fastened on that one part.
For a month, many years ago, I was an insole tacker in a shoe factory. All day long I held an insole over a plastic last, which is a plastic foot upon which a shoe was built. I pressed a pedal of a machine that spit out two tacks, one on the ball of the last and one on the heel, to tack on the insole. That was the first piece of the shoe that was being built around the plastic last. All day long, ba-bump, ba-bump… Repeat. I hardly saw a finished shoe.
That’s very different from the experience of the craftsperson who starts with the raw materials and works them until the shoe is done. There is a confirmation and a manifestation of who we are as a creator when we are a craftsperson. It’s satisfying to complete something.
We’re here to be creators and see things all the way through to being done. But we have to know what “done” is. What is it that we’re creating? What will it look like when it’s done?
When things are done, they can support us as human beings. When a shoe gets done you can wear it.
To be a person who gets things done that support human life, that bring meaning and joy into the world, you have to come to a place of grace in yourself, where you bring the holiness you are to the incompleteness you see and experience. Then there is an opportunity for those things around you to complete. When you are done, the things around you have an opportunity to get done.
I’m sure you could name things in your world or field of service that are not done. So could I. But are we done? Are you done? One of the things that prevents people from being done is that all the unresolve that they are feeling, all the undoneness that they’re feeling, they masterfully project upon the world around them and the people around them: “You’re flawed and you’re limited, and this isn’t done and that isn’t done; and this is unwhole, and that is unholy.” With all that projection and distraction, the person never takes the step into the center of themselves, into their own holiness, and lets it be done for them.
We are creating a community of people in whom, individually, it is done, so that we become a community of people who, together, can share that doneness. We can say, “I’m done. I’m done with all the unresolve, and I’m done with all the projection. I’m done with all the distraction. And I’m done because I am who I am. I am being the holiness of who I am, and I’m bringing the holiness of who I am into all the incompleteness of my own craziness, into the craziness of my world and into all the incompleteness and unholiness around me. I’m done.”
If we are done in that way individually, we can be done together. We can enter a state of holiness—not holier than thou, not sanctimoniousness or some kind of religious prissiness or self-righteousness. No. Done! Fully whole. Fully ourselves. Holy.