Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Through Stained Glass: What Is Saving You? A Guest Post

“be content that you are not yet a saint ... 
Then you will be satisfied to let God lead you 
to sanctity by paths you cannot understand.”
~Thomas Merton, A Book of Hours

Today's midweek reflection is by First Presbyterian Church member, mother, writer, poet, photographer, adventurer, and whimsical warrior, Kelli Owens. You can check out more of Kelli's writing at her blog, Chronicles of Grace, by clicking here.

The days slip by. They are at once a lifetime and yet only a second. Time has taken on more of her inherent wild and nonlinear nature as we move further into a world undomesticated by clocks.
What strikes me is what’s left. And what’s left has a lot to do with noticing how resistance sings her song alongside surrender. How they exist and interplay baffles me and yet somehow in this observable tension resonates the hum of life’s current chord progression. Each is a part of the other – belongs to the other – as two partners in a dance.
To say it again, each is a part of the whole.
Arriving at this conclusion is what’s saving me today. Not only the passing experience of being alive on a day of 75 and sunny where surrender is easy, but being alive in 55 and rain where resistance raises her hand to be counted.
Perhaps salvation has more than one shape. Perhaps the spaciousness that enables observation is the best way to number our days.
Also perhaps it’s time to document such saving. While our face-to-face conversations are limited right now, I wonder if we could meet in the comings and goings of our personal resistances and surrenders. I wonder if we could take photos and share them of times we notice the tension and what beautiful, frail thing opens us to it. In short, that we could share what’s saving us today.
It doesn’t have to be something as fabulous as a sunset or silver raindrops strung on a spider’s web. It could be the face of a playful pet, the messy kitchen in need of scrub, or mud in the driveway. The dance is to notice resistance and surrender, not to fix them, not to conclude.


  1. I rejoice at reading someone who is fully inhabiting this time that some call "The Grand Pause" which, as you you've pointed out Kelli, is the stuff of resistance, surrender and spaciousness. Whenever I encounter someone who speaks graciously yet soberly about the tensions that exist in any human situation, I feel a deep gladness and celebrate a traveling companion. "Perhaps the spaciousness that enables observation is the best way to number our days." This was the essence of what my spiritual director and I held up close yesterday. Say, where would we post such photos as you suggest?

    1. We are gathering them on Facebook, Dan! You can post them in the comments of the post that linked you to this blog. Be sure to check out the ones that have been added on my personal page as well (on the blog link post). .. it’s always a joy to see you here, Dan. Thanks for reading :)