Grace, Prayer, The Inner Landscape

In a twist and out again

From my deck, before.

I have some highly advanced gifts in the area of getting myself into a twist. It even happens in prayer. I make things complicated.

Last week during Study Leave, I made a point of turning over an Angel Card each day. They are sitting on kathrynzj’s desk because I gave them to her. Meanwhile, back home, I turned my partial deck, besmudged and casually lifted by passers-by, into an art project during this past Lent. So it felt good to be handling her pretty, newer ones. And you love to turn over a card like Freedom or Grace or Love. But when you get Efficiency, you think, surely there is some better Angel?

One of the cards I turned over last week was Simplicity. It made me chuckle. That’s a lovely spiritual discipline, I thought, simplifying in this complex world. Now let me get back to my iPhone and check my Twitter @ responses and see how many people “liked” my Facebook status.


The past year has involved a lot of life review for me, a lot of looking at things I did and choices I made and even stuff that just happened and was really beyond my control, and I’ve been making it as complicated for myself as possible by trying to find ways to take the blame. That’s almost easier sometimes than assigning responsibility where it belongs. And it’s feels more powerful than sometimes admitting powerlessness. And if you assign blame to your own self in a global enough fashion, others are sure to come to your rescue and absolve you of everything, which is a slight comfort, even when you’re secretly dwelling on the one thing you really could have controlled and maybe didn’t, or something like that.

I have some trouble forgiving myself for those things, and that blocks me from feeling forgiven by God, who I would assure each of you takes a much larger view of things than we ever can, and who I would also assure you loves each and every one of you in spite of those mistakes and errors and is particularly forgiving of those who desire to repent, to turn towards God’s love and forgiveness.

I just have trouble turning, sometimes.

And as I wrestled with this in prayer, I proved once again that there is no situation for which the Spirit will not send a song lyric or a hymn verse into my mind.

‘Tis the gift to be simple, ’tis the gift to be free
‘Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
‘Twill be in the valley of love and delight.

When true simplicity is gain’d,
To bow and to bend we shan’t be asham’d,
To turn, turn will be our delight,
Till by turning, turning we come ’round right.
(Elder Joseph–1848)

As I used to say to my Confirmation class at Y1P, “Oh, crumbs.”

There it is. Simplicity.

So, I keep turning, and today I feel less twisted, more resilient and, not coincidentally, graced and forgivable.

A reasonable approximation of the Valley of Love and Delight

4 thoughts on “In a twist and out again”

  1. Whatever gifts you consider you have in making things complicated, you DO have the gift of simplicity. You are able to take complicated ideas/scriptures/lessons and restate them in clearly understandable words. That's simplicity too!

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