March 31, 2008

surprised by joy and grace ...

Jesus went across to Mount Olives, but he was soon back in the Temple again. Swarms of people came to him. He sat down and taught them. 3-6The religion scholars and Pharisees led in a woman who had been caught in an act of adultery. They stood her in plain sight of everyone and said, "Teacher, this woman was caught red-handed in the act of adultery. Moses, in the Law, gives orders to stone such persons. What do you say?" They were trying to trap him into saying something incriminating so they could bring charges against him.

Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger in the dirt. They kept at him, badgering him. He straightened up and said, "The sinless one among you, go first: Throw the stone." Bending down again, he wrote some more in the dirt.

Hearing that, they walked away, one after another, beginning with the oldest. The woman was left alone. Jesus stood up and spoke to her. "Woman, where are they? Does no one condemn you?"

"No one, Master."

"Neither do I," said Jesus. "Go on your way. From now on, don't sin."
Have you ever been caught off guard by the kindness of a stranger or, for that matter, the kindness of a friend?

Have you ever braced up your body - you know, stiffened up for the emotional outburst or a particular response that you felt was imminent for someone - only to be joyfully relieved that you could relax and enjoy the experience?

I love moments like that ...
being surprised by joy where I expected turbulence.
finding grace where I was sure that 'karma' would abide.

I love when the predetermined scenarios that I've so carefully crafted fall like straw to the ground and I am forced to simply smile, or laugh, or cry instead.

I really love being the instigator of that joy ...
I delight in being the harbinger of enormous grace ...

What if joy and grace were water-balloons?

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