I used to ponder how the grace bestowed by Christ’s great sacrifice enhanced my life more that someone who didn’t really care or believe in its power. Not that I’ve come to any great revelation, I’m sure it is one of those mysteries that I will be pondering forever, I do have some thoughts on the matter. One of my favorite philosophical pictorial, is Plato’s allegory of the cave. I used to think that faith in the grace of the holy spirit was what separated us from those shackled prisoners who couldn’t see that the shadows on the wall were anything but illusion. Somehow, the spirit that was gifted to us broke our chains and freed us to see the greater world outside. Now that I’m older, I’m not sure I believe that anymore. I think grace does exist, and does free us from illusion, but it demands that we let go of all we think we know about this world we call real. I see many Christians that have created another set of shadows and chains that are as illusory as the first set. I think the true gift of grace is a greater sight that only comes if we are willing to let go of everything we think we know and be open to a greater truth. I don’t think it comes as easy as accepting Jesus into your heart…we would be a much wiser people if that were the case. There are too many atrocities that still occur in the name of that very grace to make it credible for me. The world outside of the shadows has to be better than just a different scenario where one group of puppeteerstakes the place of another. I will take a leap and say that status has nothing to do with breaking those chains. It is the faith in things that I can’t see that takes us out of the cave, and the courage to see…really see a greater world. The only way to do that is to let go of our own personal illusions, which is hard because we all cling to certain beliefs. That doesn’t mean I throw my ideology out the window…but it does mean that I have to be willing, at the very least, to believe that perhaps it is so much more than I think it is right now at this moment. Grace challenges us to grow with every insight, to change with every lesson and move with an open mind into the future. Some times that is scary, especially when so much of Christianity these days seems preach righteousness over love. It makes me sad how judgemental and condemning it has made us.