Somewhere over the past few weeks this blog hit the year mark. A year of bumping around the blogosphere trying to find my voice and wonder if there were others who could share in the same key or at least a harmonious one.
My heart had been full of sorting out the wonders of ministry with men in recovery and I needed a place to say these things. To see the words in print and allow them to look back at me as if to ask, “well, are you all in?”
Along the way other parts of my heart have pushed their way through and found a place on these pages. The mysterious path of a parent with Alzheimer’s dementia, scars I carry of a young vagabond life, the risk of loving. A new-found joy of photography has also found its way as I try to capture and share visually many of these experiences.
What I know is I don’t know and am learning more and more I don’t need to know.
The daily life has me enmeshed with men living in The Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center. Some were living in the bushes under the overpasses. Others on the beach slipping into backyard pools to bathe. Still others living at home until family pushed them out or drove them to our doors saying they weren’t welcome at home. These are the men who we share life with. These are the ones who break our hearts and make us laugh so hard we cry. They are the ones we celebrate, pray for and love. They are why this blog is called living in graceland. They are my teachers.
The tag-line under the blog title comes from this passage in Matthew as paraphrased by The Message:
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28-10
My husband and I are ordained ministers but this isn’t about religion. This is about life. A journey. One that can become weary and the road rough. A journey that desperately needs to remember when I get away with Jesus, He’ll give us real rest. In Him, we can recover our life. We can learn the unforced rhythms of grace. Unforced rhythms. That’s what I want. To be so in sync with Him that my heart sways and swells and quiets and beats to his rhythm. I’m not there. We walk this together. With these men who are addicts and con men. beggars and thieves. Men who are lost and now found.
Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found. Was blind but now I see.