For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God— not the result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.
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How often I have thought that if I could be the architect of a plan by which all that was wrong with our human condition could be renovated and restored to wholeness and peace, I could have done a better job. My blueprint would have been much easier, less messy, more definitive. Yes, I am confident I could have come up with a much better plan that did not involve the despicable horror of the cross. And it definitely wouldn't involve the horrific gyrations I go through everyday swinging between glimpses of the dazzling light of heaven alive in the love of human relationships and the guilt and fear that it may all be a figment of my wishful thinking. Fact of the matter is that no matter how arrogantly I believe I could come up with a better blueprint for a whole and holy relationship with God, with God's people, and with my own skin....the fact is.....I could draw the blueprint, but I couldn't build it. God's blueprint is messy, bloody, and costly. And God built it and makes it work. God loves us nonetheless for our arrogant assumptions that we could imagine something better. God loves us unconditionally because for God, it wouldn't be heaven without us. So this is our life - a little less boastful, a little more focused on gratitude, and on a clear day, we can see heaven from here.
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Sometimes, God, all I can say is, "Wow." Amen.