Grace is like a hungry cat

July 6, 2014

in Grace and how to recognize it in your life

An old man, part of a group of mentally disadvantaged people, sat next to me on a bench as I was waiting for a ferry to take me across Sydney harbor to Mosman. I was eating a chocolate bar and offered him a piece. He held up a shaking hand and took it, hungrily. I ate a piece myself and gave him another. “This is your lucky day” I said to him, meaning the chocolate. But it actually was my lucky day. I was given a profound gift in that chance meeting, which is hard to describe. It was the insight that this small interaction had far more meaning than anything else I would experience that day. That it opened a portal into another dimension of living, one having little to do with my normal life. A far more important dimension, which I hadn’t noticed that day.

Why is grace so insistent?

Grace constantly nuzzles our consciousness, like a hungry cat. The Holy Spirit wants us to notice God’s presence and gifts, but we aren’t paying attention. When my cat Oscar gets tired of nuzzling me, sometimes he stands up on his hind legs and puts his front paws on my lap, or jumps up and puts his nose very close to my face, so I can’t ignor him. Grace is insistent like that, trying different ways, like marketing experts say, to “cut through” the noise and clutter that fills our life and blinds us to what is really happening, right in front of our nose. If we don’t see God’s presence and gifts, how can we fulfill God’s purpose? Our individual contribution to His Plan is critical to God and that’s why grace is so persistent.

 

© 2014, James Harlow Brown. All rights reserved.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

mike dahlman December 12, 2011 at 8:43 am

The Holy Spirit is much like the hearing tests we take as we age. The tone perhaps cannot be heard at first. Tintinitus, high end hearing destroyed by years and years of high pitch steam noise in the engineroom. The tone gets lounder and lounder until we recognize it. Often, they play the same pitch again – and now sensitive to that tone, we are able to distinguish it from the background noise much more readily. As we pay attention, and grow accustomed to the Holy Spirit, we can see her in more and more subtle ways

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jbrown2001 December 12, 2011 at 10:55 am

I really like your metaphor. Noise represents the world’s insistent cacaphony, which deadens our ability to sense the subtle spiritual signs of grace. But, as we begin to ‘hear’ the very quiet ‘tones’ of the Holy Spirit, we ‘train’ our senses to increasingly recognise Her presence amidst the noise of the world. Our faith makes us believe that She is truly present, and that our efforts to “hear” Her amidst the worlds “noise” will ultimately be successful. Even our faith is a gift of the Holy Spirit! God is healing our “hearing” when we don’t even know that we are “deaf”!

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