Grace in a Bottle

It’s so quiet that I can hear myself think.

This is what hits me as I wake up early today. We are in Rockport, our happy place of rest and art; writing and thinking. Rockport allows me to pull away from the everyday stuff that distracts and rethink what is important. It is a place of quiet grace.

A bird choir lends their voices to the morning – a welcome and joyous sound.

A few years ago a team of researchers were tracking small warblers. They discovered that these tiny birds flew away from a severe storm system days before any meteorologist could predict the bad weather. I think about this as I listen to these morning sounds of pure grace; the grace of little creatures, uniquely designed and given what they need to survive the storms of life.

Uniquely designed and given what they need to survive the storms of life… much I can learn from these warblers.

Because I am the same – I just don’t feel it all the time.

I long to capture all of these morning sounds; capture the feelings of peace and rest and pull them out of a bottle whenever I need them. I know even as I wish this that it wouldn’t be the same as what I experience right now. You can’t capture this kind of rest and peace in a bottle.

Neither can you put grace in a bottle. Instead, it is a constant, steady stream that is so much a part of daily life that it’s like oxygen in air all around us.

Warblers continue singing outside, unphased by worry, transition, or where their next meal will come from.

I rest in their song of grace.

After centuries of handling and mishandling, most religious words have become so shopworn nobody’s much interested anymore. Not so with grace, for some reason. Mysteriously, even derivatives like gracious and graceful still have some of the bloom left. Grace is something you can never get but can only be given. There’s no way to earn it or deserve it or bring it about any more than you can deserve the taste of raspberries and cream or earn good looks or bring about your own birth. – Frederick Buechner

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