If you read my Tuesday blog post, you know I am excited to now officially be a contributor to a published, mass-marketed book. My work has been featured before in publications with very narrow distribution and / or small niches; 365 Moments of Grace represents my breakthrough into a book with much wider distribution, even including my photo and a brief bio in the book and my name as a contributor on the book’s Web pages. By the morning after its release day, 365 Moments of Grace was already listed as a bestseller in its category.
As a contributor to this project, I am authorized to use my story anywhere else I want now that the book has been published. So, I decided to use it as a blog post. This story is a tribute to my grandfather, inspired by a conversation we had a few years ago. When Granddaddy and I got together every week for many years (and about once a month after I moved farther away), we always had insightful conversations about very deep topics, sometimes lasting a few hours.
During one such conversation, my very old-school Christian Granddaddy surprised me by saying, “Maybe we’re all cells in God’s body—Maybe that’s how it works…” That idea really struck a chord with me, because I always struggled with the idea of the creative force of the universe having to be seen and prayed to as a person in order for me to relate with it.
Now that I see religion through the lens of a Buddhist, my Granddaddy’s pantheistic-sounding idea strikes me as a great middle-ground between the idea of God and the idea of non-theism (a spiritual practice that does not involve a creator-God or any kind of creation story at all, and which is often misunderstood to be a form of atheism).
The paragraphs below are my contribution to 365 Moments of Grace, exactly as it is worded in the book.
Thank you for reading!
I always struggled with the idea that certain spiritual concepts are exclusive to one religion. I’ve always been more of a spiritual free-agent, and much of what I believe contradicts what many people around me consider to be absolute spiritual truths.
Despite this, I have always been blessed with unconditional love from many people of various faiths, people who love me for who I am rather than for my similarities to them. One of these people was my beloved Granddaddy, John Christian Huber. Granddaddy was a devout Moravian Christian, but it never fazed him that I was participating with the Bahá’í community, engaging in Native American spiritual practices, or studying Buddhism. He never argued that I needed to believe his way, and he trusted my judgment and respected that I was walking a good path.
Granddaddy once said something that blew me away: “Maybe we’re all cells in God’s body.” That statement really struck a chord with me, the idea that the Creative Force of the Universe is the Universe, and we’re all components of it rather than isolated pieces being independently controlled by an external force, such as God or fate.
It made me think that the great spiritual concepts many of us grew up thinking are exclusive to Christianity, such as grace, are available to everyone, because they’re already woven into the fabric. It’s up to us to be receptive to them, to make the conscious choice to manifest them in our lives.
Whether we’re Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Bahá’í, Hindu, Buddhist, traditional Native American, Jain, Sikh, Zoroastrian, or Pagan, we can recast the idea of grace for ourselves and make it part of our way of life. We manifest grace in how we handle things, in the unconditional love we hold for the people who are most important to us, in the courage we muster to face challenges, and in the dignity we maintain when facing failure or persecution.
Whether our spiritual practice is humanistic or God-centered, grace is available to each of us. No one has to confer it upon us, and no one can take it away.
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