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Unwrapping the gift of grace

By Laurel Pattenden

About two decades ago, I heard this following meditation at a conference. You may have already heard it yourself or read it somewhere. The meditation is a favourite of mine as it is readily adaptable to many situations. I thought it might be a nice exercise adapted for Easter. So let’s get ready to wander.

It was a beautiful day. Sun was out, air still a bit crisp for early spring but inviting for a stroll through the countryside. You found a path leaving your usual walking route and decided to take it. The path began by weaving through a copse of deciduous trees just starting to come into bud. The air smelt fresh after having been indoors much of the winter. It was good to stretch the legs and breathe deeply.

As the copse of trees was beginning to thin, you noticed a small cabin with a colourfully painted front door. It looked so inviting that you tried the lock and the door opened easily.

Inside it was sparsely furnished with only a table and chair. The small windows allowed the sun to shine exactly on the table and chair inviting one to sit. Once seated, you noticed a piece of paper and an old stub of a pencil. Soon you were doodling and then writing out your worries, decisions to be made and a whole host of inner thoughts.

The silence inside the cabin was quite inducing to this introspection. Soon the paper was completely covered. Absentmindedly you crinkled it up and put in your jacket pocket.

Rising, you left the silent cabin and continued along the path that led you through a glorious meadow of spring flowers and bees. It navigated you to the foot of a hill that was soon covered in pine and balsam fir trees. The scent was almost intoxicating. The wind stirred the tops of these trees and their song was drawing you on.

Breathing deeper as the slope became steeper and rockier. The trees were no more. The scene was quite barren but the top of the hill was so close that you continued to walk on.

As you approached the top you saw the most unusual sight. There was this man seating on a flat rock with a basket full of beautifully wrapped gifts beside him. You cautiously went closer and you noticed his hands were badly hurt. His feet were wrapped raggedly barely hiding the bloody sores.

Even though you were extremely quiet, his head rose and his eyes met yours. It was hard to understand the look in his eyes because instead of being full of pain from the sores they were brimming with love.

Without a word being said and not knowing why, you reach into your jacket pocket and placed the crumpled piece of paper at his feet.

He then chose the most beautiful gift and handed it to you.

Stunned, you turned around carrying the gift. Before you knew it, you were sitting at the table, in the cabin. The gift in front of you. Waiting to be unwrapped.

You slowly unwrap it and peer inside. It was the most amazing gift. It was the most priceless gift. It was the gift your heart had been searching for. It was the gift that made you whole.

The meditation ends here, but if you will just wait a minute, I will unwrap my gift. Wait. Wait till I look inside. Just wait. Oh… it is grace. The gift of grace!

What was yours?

Yeah, thought so, it was perfect too. And everlasting.

Happy Easter!