Since I have been going into work after six months of quarantine, my cat has been finding new ways to get my attention. She learned quickly that no one can resist her plush, fluffy belly. Her go to method has always been to throw herself on her back when I walk by. Lately life has been heavier than usual, or at least I feel the pull more intently upon my thoughts. Sensing the need for a new strategy, Bonnie has discovered the belly is not enough.
She has resorted to quietly lying on her back, belly exposed, examining the room upside down. Her quiet perspective shift succeeds in capturing my attention. I can't help but wonder what she's thinking. Her meditative contemplation of life upside down intrigues me.
Maybe it's because I walk through the halls of a loud scene of social media. Maybe the brash noise of the news becoming a platform for a few shouters makes me long for the voice of silence. Whatever the catalyst, Bonnie Rose beckons me to stop and sit with her by quietly looking at our surroundings from a different angle.
There are those, tired and pushed, who fight back and lash out with angry words and loaded opinions carrying more hurt than truth. Their words attack and create chaos that bombards the air making it appear that strife is the new norm. But that is not the majority. That can't be the new voice of humanity.
I look to the silent, goodness surrounding my footsteps. They are so hard to see through the smoke and mirrors. But I can find them when I stop, when I listen. Their voice speaks of gratitude. Their actions and choices of kindness create a force that pushes me to share their gift of kindness and generosity with another. It is the silent majority who makes this life move and thrive in a healing and guiding manner.
Whether the act of a student standing in the rain to get reception for my class, or a student who takes time to ask how I am in an email before pursuing their request, a parent who says thank you, or a friend who knows me well telling me they admire and appreciate me, the silence is broken and I can hear and see grace all around. These small gentle attributes of goodness offer healing that lifts my chin from off my weighted chest with a true breath I find most refreshing.
My morning readings of Bishop Barron brought me to these words of contemplation. "When grace invades us, we are enticed into far deeper waters." Grace gives courage. Grace is so attractive and provocative not because it is in short supply, but simply because we have to strive to find it. Grace is contagious spreading the goodness we recognize has been shared with us. Grace is powerful stemming from the heart of all that is good and just.
Looking at my world upside down, I wonder if the silent majority understands the power they hold. I wonder if those who let their actions of love and kindness define them really comprehend how valuable they are to our society.
If we are not to drown in the deep waters of strife, if we are to rise and find the courage to heal as a people, we will need to let our silence shout spreading grace's hope for a new day. Only then will our upside down world aright itself. Only when grace is given will more be generated.
Only God's grace can set us free.