I just linked to this article called Means of Grace at Art House America. (Charlie Peacock and Andi Ashworth)
A friend of mine once said of Flannery O’Connor, “Writing is the way God gave her to experience His grace.” Since she first uttered this nonchalant, world-altering observation, I have not been able to get it out of my head. Writing itself is grace. What does that mean exactly? Is that true? Can it be? Surely scripture is a means of grace, prayer is a means of grace, the ministry of the Holy Spirit, wise counsel, teaching, devotional books — all of this feels familiar and plenty gracious. Yet when I think of poor, weary, peacock-loving Flannery sitting out on her roasting-hot, ramshackle porch offering up sentence after sentence of worship with her pad and pencil, I, a stalwart non-weeper, could cry out of sheer delight.
Of course it is true that writing was her grace. Why else would God set such love inside her? Inside us? Why else would I feel like in my moments of greatest love what I long for most deeply is to take out a part of my heart and set a little piece inside someone else so they can see and feel and taste and touch the wonder that I myself am seeing, feeling, tasting, and touching with such awe. And yet that is precisely what God has already done. He has taken His own deep loves and set them inside us — literally — so we can see as He sees and love as He loves, albeit imperfectly.
This kind of grace changes the way I live.
Don't you love this last sentence.
Kate also has an essay on BOOKS.
Over the past several weeks I have become introspective on this point: Why am I so wholly loyal, wholly devoted to books? Not simply to the act of reading but to actual, tangible, physical books?