A Course in Miracles tells us, “Grace is the acceptance of the Love of God within a world of seeming hate and fear.” Martin Luther King put it this way, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” Love, like peace, begins with us. We can’t accept the Love of God within the world unless we’ve accepted the Love of God within our self. As we do, we are more able to let the Love within us guide us when actions of hate and fear against another cause us to want to fight, to seek revenge, and to meet violence with violence in our mind, even if we don’t act upon such thoughts.
It’s been said that sometimes things need to get worse before they get better, but Martin Luther King reminded us, “Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.” Grace allows us to accept the Love of God within the world regardless of the graceless words we hear expressed every day, especially by those with a platform to express such words on a regular basis. Grace allows us to accept that the healing Light of Love is Present no matter how dark things may seem to be, to trust Its Presence has the power to dissipate fear in the midst of an action of horrendous prejudice or in the midst of a worldwide pandemic. Just as shadows don’t run from the sun, but disappear in its presence, so the Light of Love disappears fear not by fighting the darkness, but just by being Light.
Thank God there is so much more to you and me that is beyond visibility; so much more for us to be within us, see within us, that can become physical reality. If we choose to allow Grace to come alive, and stay alive, in us no matter what, we will find that the graciousness with which we begin to think about our self and others, the kindness of the words we choose when we speak of and speak to others, and the goodwill of our actions as we move about in the world is exactly what the world is calling for right now. With the world at a precipice that it hasn’t collectively experienced before, it doesn’t need more conflict and division. As the song goes, “What world needs now is love sweet love, not just for some, but for everyone.”
The call for Love is louder than ever. In fact, it is so loud, so obvious, and so very hard to ignore that unless we’re plugging our ears and humming, we can’t fail to hear It. The question is, “Are we going to answer the call?” If we’re not feeling Love within us, if we’re allowing fear and anger to fill our heart, we have no answer to give. We can’t answer the call for peace if we’re joined in the battle. We can’t shine a light for others while we’re scrambling around in the dark looking for a lamp. And, we can’t answer the call for Love if our thoughts, words and actions are fueled by the actions of hate and fear by others. The mystical poet, Rumi, wrote “There comes a time when nothing is meaningful except surrendering to love.” We surrender to Love not by struggling to love the unlovable, but through the acceptance that Love is all there Is because God is all there is and God is Love. Love, then, must be Present in the very place It appears to be absent in the world. But, we’ll only know Love is Present there when we feel Its Presence here, within us.
In The Way of the Heart we read, “Grace does not descend until your Father knows that you are willing to prepare a place to receive it. This is why, in the process of healing and awakening, it is not necessary to seek for Love. It is only necessary to prepare the place by choosing to discover and remove the obstacles to Love, which all come down to fear.” Only the fearless Love within us is able to soothe the pain around us. Only as we allow Love to heal our wounded perceptions are we able to bring healing to a world wounded by its perceptions.
Maya Angelou wrote, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then, when you know better, do better.” These are strange times at best. We need to prepare a place for Grace within us that will help us to know better and do better. Grace will ease our thoughts, calm our emotions, and guide our actions. Some are calling this extraordinary time in human history, “The Great Awakening.” It can be if we let it be. But, it is important for us to remember that awakening, like love, grace and peace, begins with each of us. There will be some of us who may choose to stay asleep, with a “Do not disturb” sign on the door of our mind. That’s okay. Be kind. No one else’s behavior can keep us from awakening unless we let it. We surrender to Love by giving up our reasons not to Love, by discovering and removing the obstacles within us to Love, which all come down to fear.
When we surrender to Love, no one needs to remind us who or what matters because Love knows the holy, immeasurable value all life. And, until someone surrenders to love, all the reminders in the world, no matter how loud they are spoken, will fall upon ears that cannot hear. In the stillness that comes to our mind when we surrender our opinions, judgments, and need to control those around us, the whole Grace-filled Universe surrenders. It surrenders Its Peace, Its Joy, Its Love. We become a fearless being of Love, a full expression of the harmless, harmonious, joyously interactive, beautifully expressive creation of God. If there was ever a time when nothing is meaningful except surrendering to love, NOW is the time.