I have resolved tonight to turn my thoughts on grace.  I want the words and images to fill my heart and mind for a few days.   Then, perhaps, I shall write my reflections here. Grace is much needed in my life now, especially from myself.

Until then, here’s what prompted this: There was an article in the New York Times online recently about grace as it relates to relations between doctor and patient.  It’s a good article about a theater production.  The characters are transformed, and it was written through one woman’s listening…it seems to be the secular explanation similar to pastoral care and spiritual direction—though obviously the goal of care is different for ministers and doctors.  Still, something stirs our souls in our shared lives…

Doctor and Patient: What Does Grace Mean to You?

A good quote (I learned this one many times over in my pastoral care training):

“When you first start to decide to listen in a way that is more than just listening in a conversation, it’s probably a good idea not to expect yourself to listen for very long,” Ms. Smith said to me. “Practice keeping your own inner monologue out of the way of what is being said to you, so that you can hear not just what somebody is saying to you, but also what they’re trying to say.”

this one an example of the author’s, and another one I learned in relation to pastoral care:

* The attending physician who told his intern who was trying desperately to hide her tears over a recent patient death, “It’s okay to cry. When you stop caring is when you should get out of this business.”

and check out the comments, where people tell their own stories of grace…