Thursday, June 01, 2006

Grace

Sometimes, when you stare too intensely at the Big Picture -- career plans, rocky relationships, unjust wars, theological mysteries, ozone holes -- your vision blurs and you forget that, in human life, small things matter. A lifetime, after all, is made up of thirty-second increments. A relationship boils down to so many words, tokens, gestures. An attitude is the product of momentary perceptions, reactions, and reflections, experienced one at a time. In all these things, there's synergy -- the whole is richer than the sum of its parts -- but good synergy only happens because many good little bits are there to be synergized.

And each one is meant to be tasted.

On a related note: i really like random acts of kindness.sometimes, when a stranger breaks his momentum to hold the door, or takes a minute to pick up my coins, or forfeits the last parking space with a little wave -- just for that instant -- my pride comes unhinged and gets knocked to the floor with a swift one-two: surprise, then shame.The shame arises from the fact of my surprise -- i.e., the fact that I expect so little from others, namely because i habitually impute my own meanness to the whole human race -- and the fact that I'm so stunned at a tiny droplet of courtesy when, over the course of my life, I have received so much grace, both human and divine. And not just at random.