One of the more curious things about the human race is its capacity for survival. As Christians, we think about God’s grace as this special provision that blesses and forgives, but sometimes just staying alive uninjured for a finite period of time is good, too! This holiday I have managed to have my bike nicked, been bitten by 80 mosquitoes and 40 wasps (within an hour), driven into the back of somebody else’s BMW (never good to be in hot pursuit of a stationary car), and hit my index finger really hard with a hammer (a masonry nail was the target). Just one of those periods. In the same time we have seen a daughter married, been to Canada for a week with Sally and all my kids, hosted my American in-laws for a long weekend (and about 8 other people at various times) and done tons of things in the garden. Life, really. This doesn’t nullify grace; it just shows God’s kindness to all through the things that convey it – Creation, people, reflection – which are available to all. This is not necessarily redeeming grace, but it is the overflow of the generous heart of God towards all he has made.
But it makes me think of this curious little Bruce Cockburn song whose tongue-in-cheek tone reminds us that close relationships and those we love are the real things that matter. That’s why when I look back at this last three weeks, I can say, along with one of Wendell Berry’s characters in That Distant Land, “I am blessed”.