I am persuaded
That suffering is both particle and wave,
That it both persists and wanes,
That we endure it by stubbornness
And prevail against it by hope
And by surprise.
Likewise I am persuaded
That grace is simultaneously
The most necessary and
The least understood
Of the spiritual elements.
It too is wave and particle
But the manner of its distribution
Defies our control.
Without it, we perish
But with it we can endure
Suffer or prevail,
And even failing every test
We may receive it in baskets filled.
This I have learned, though:
Grace shared does not diminish.
But multiplies and disperses its wonders
Without aim, even
In unintended corners.
Likewise this too I have learned:
Those of us in the most enviable of circumstances
Need grace every bit as much
As those of us in the least enviable circumstance,
And the quantity of grace matters little
Because its quality is most consistent.
This one thing more I have learned:
I can always learn more about grace
Than I yet know, and I rejoice
Because I am certain that suffering
Still waits for me in some unsuspecting corner
And I have learned to enjoy being surprised-
Not by the suffering,
But by the stubbornness of grace,
Which yields to nothing
Except for love.
George R. Pasley. April 28, 2014, Ketchikan Alaska