Eclipsed by Grace

On Monday, if just for a moment, our busy lives were eclipsed by miracle.

At some point we stopped whatever we were doing, with friends, family or co-workers, to wonder at crescent shapes in the shadows on sidewalks, peer through homemade projectors crafted from an empty box of Cheerios, or gaze through a new pair of solar glasses that we will likely misplace or discard before we need them again. The hot August air cooled. The sky darkened. The moon eclipsed the sun, and we expressed a collective “wow!”

The news channels stopped talking about the threat of  nuclear war, unstable world leaders, democrats and republicans, racists and terrorists, and showed us beautiful pictures of heavenly bodies that united us in awe.

It was just what our country needed.

We needed a pause to see the sheer mystery and miracle of it all. We needed a break to experience the utter grace of this mystery we call life. And we needed to do it together, in community, as one people.

It didn’t take long for us to see it, to experience it, and to get it. We only needed a few minutes for it to come into focus. Sun, moon, crescent lights on shadowy sidewalks, cool August breeze, projections in a homemade projector: It was all miracle, and it was all grace, completely unearned, undeserved.

Moreover, as the sky lightened, we began to see that this miracle has been here all the while, every day, every minute. The sun, moon, sky, shadows on sidewalks, trees, leaves, cool breezes, our co-workers, our family and our friends, even the concrete and the Cheerios we had for breakfast last week—it is all miracle, and it is all grace. It is all gift.

And this grace that we call life has the mysterious and miraculous power to unite us all, because it is for all: Caucasian, People of Color, Christian, Muslim, Jew, None, gay, straight, English-speaking, Hispanic speaking, rich, poor, abled and disabled.

The good news is that if we will pause, if just for a moment, we can experience this grace any time, any day. We can see it, and we can get it everyday; and with our human family, with our sisters and our brothers, we can express a collective “wow” at the love and the grace that bonds us together.