Musings from Mother Jenny 05.10.2024

In his Reflections on the Unknowable, Thomas Keating says that powerlessness is our greatest treasure. He encourages us not to try to get rid of our feelings of powerlessness or inadequacy even though everything in us desperately tries to do so. The reason is that God’s grace is sufficient, and we do not know all that God can do with what we see as our limitations. It just could be that without our difficulties we might never be transformed into what God wants us to be.


While I want to believe powerlessness is a great treasure and that God’s grace is sufficient, my fear barricade always seems to slam into place to protect me. I do not like giving up control. I want life to be easy, not messy. But, as we know, gold is not refined without first being melted to remove impurities. Pearls are not formed within an oyster without irritation. Butterflies must struggle mightily to emerge from their cocoons. Broken relationships are not mended without heartache. Parishes going through difficulties cannot move forward without first naming the hurt, having hard conversations, and doing the work of healing.


And, so, when I prayerfully reflect on the challenging times in my life, I do see that God’s grace has been sufficient. Now I do not think that God punishes us with challenges and difficulties simply to teach a lesson. I do believe, however, that God is with us in our difficulties and that transformation can happen whenever we let go and trust God.


I see this happening at Grace Church. Your faithfulness, your commitment to showing up, your engagement in the Affinity group conversations are visible signs that you are creating space for transformation to happen, trusting in God’s grace to sustain and guide this parish forward.


As a final word, as you continue to pray for the Vestry and for each other, please keep my husband, Joe, in your prayers as he has knee replacement surgery. I will be in Richmond this coming week and look forward to facilitating the Affinity groups on May 18 and celebrating with you on the Day of Pentecost.


Mother Jenny+