Cecil J. Thompson
Raindrops on our Bodies
Who is counting the raindrops of grace? Our tendency is to take
them for granted because they are so freely given. We are desensitized to what
they are, gifts of indescribable beauty, wrapped in perfection for which we now
only have an instinct. We see glimpses of the beauty, but nothing sustained.
Normalcy, everyday concerns take our attention away. After a while, it seems,
they are completely wiped out of our minds. But others notice them; and it almost feels as though in some strange way something in us borrows their voices, because they notice, perhaps, more than we ever had, the glistening raindrops on our bodies, and so quickly replaced that it seems each fresh drop is the first we saw. And they say to us, "Wow! You are blessed." The lips of others utter something that's happening to us. We are silent. Theirs become testimonies of our survival, of our emergence, re-emergence, of surge and resurgence, of our arrival, once, twice, over and again into milliseconds of possibility as our lives are conducted in the rain of grace.
But who is counting the raindrops of grace? We are living in this forever something that makes continuation possible even when there are hazards along the way. The hazards are sometimes like craftspeople.They mold us into different things. By some confluence of circumstances and events, they come together to mold us into "things." Some prefer to say we are clay in the hands of God. Whatever metaphor we prefer, it makes little difference to the fact that we are, formally, "things" that are made and "things" that make things in this creative process of life, and ones that cannot escape the rain of grace. We get it; if grace was not a perpetual rain, the hazards could destroy us. We take chances and risks in life, and we are, often, not destroyed; we jump and, sometimes, leap--terrified, through hoops, but we are not destroyed. And, here, we are talking about form and spirit, the external and internal existence. Hazards cannot destroy us because of grace.
But who is counting the raindrops of grace? All I have to do is whisper to myself, "I am twice blessed." I say it again, "I am twice blessed." When I say this, it doesn't matter if anyone else hears it. I am engaged in a deep-space practice of being a self that I know I am despite external evidence to the contrary. It is a deep-space practice because it is unknown, some of the best minds, even some wisdom teachers, say it is unknowable. To my mind it is unknowable, but I am not just my mind. I am spirit. My repetition, persistence, and unrelenting quest simultaneously build echo-chambers in deeper space and I arrive there even though I am still here with you. This is the story of the mystic; not a special expert who does tricks, but a simple soul that accepts the simplicity of life, holiness suffused in all things, and sees a door of Spirit within. There is a space of an uninjured and undiminshed you. A you that material accomplishments cannot reach on their own terms, a you that lives in the massive shadows of Divine grace. The point of you in infinity is a security, an immutability, an indestructibility that words fall far short of demonstrating. But who is counting the raindrops of grace?
Just like I told myself, I can tell you that you are twice blessed. "Twice" is a reference to endless reservoirs and "double portions." Systems complicate the question of portions; they create the poor. Christ saw the poor as he walked the streets of Palestine. Poverty is to be without the material means of survival, but it says nothing about the life of the spirit. Sometimes that life is nothing but debris going down the stream. If you seek to know the Truth, follow it to the horizon, and watch it transfigure. Quiescent debris is permanence; it is Rest; it is Peace undisturbed by violence in the "flux consciousness" of the turbulent personal and the chaotic social. Essence is always itself in the stream of life. But who is counting the raindrops of grace?