Each day the news seems to bring new types of turmoil. Wildfires, hurricanes, and violence reoccur in the news cycle with overwhelming frequency. Instead of addressing an issue, conversations become politicized. Wildfires and hurricane become a debate about climate change. Violence is about race or policing, and the questions are framed in a false binary fashion. Every issue seems to be either this or that with little nuance. This baffles me.
When Juan Luis Segundo described the church as an “unedited possibility for love,” he pointed to the messiness of people coming together. Even though Segundo correctly identifies the potential for God to be evidenced in the life of the church, Christians contribute to the turmoil. Conservatives lend their voices to climate-change denial, and liberals castigate conservatives who do not believe scientists. Even the liberal/conservative divide adds to a sense of one view or another. Again, this leaves little space for a nuanced conversation.
With a larger number of news sources, individuals can find outlets that match their worldview. The news becomes an echo chamber repeating closely held beliefs. In all this turmoil, we (as Americans or humans) fail to come together.
Still, grace exists. When we (as individuals) look for it, we can find it. As tensions increase among friends and relatives over the spreading divisiveness, we have a choice. We can look for moments of grace. When we find it, we can share it. We can extend grace to one another. We can be agents of God’s grace in the world around us.
Grace is not a simplistic moment of something good among a bunch of bad. Grace is God’s presence in the world. Looking for grace means looking for God’s presence. Making the choice to look for grace is integral as a first step to finding it.