On Gravity and Grace

gravity and grace

“All the natural movements of the soul are controlled by laws analogous to those of physical gravity. Grace is the only exception. Grace fills empty spaces, but it can only enter where there is a void to receive it, and it is grace itself which makes this void. The imagination is continually at work filling up all the fissures through which grace might pass.”

Simone Weil, Gravity and Grace

The Relationship between Gravity and Grace

When you drop a ball and it falls down, you don’t question it. You know that gravity has taken over the ball and that it will continue to fall until it hits the ground. This is how gravity works; it keeps us and objects anchored to the earth.

Grace is the same. It will fall to fill in any empty spaces you’ve left open for it. You are the earth, and grace is the ball.

But instead of simply allowing this natural law of the universe to do its thing, we put in an obstacle course and a maze for grace so that it has a hard time landing where it needs to, if it gets there at all. We do this all the time to ourselves, and it’s crazy-making. We want grace, but continually close ourselves off to it.

This shows up as not asking others for help or allowing them to help if they offer, as stress over self-imposed to-do lists, as worrying about all the “shoulds.” All that stuff that runs around in your monkey mind stops grace from filling in the gaps.

How to Become more like Gravity and Grace

As with any other universal law, gravity and grace don’t think about how or when to act. They move without hesitation or emotion.

Earlier this week, my children and I allowed grace to fill the void. My daughter had wanted to go shopping. She had something she wanted to pick up, as well as something for each of two friends. She found two of the items quickly, but a ball filled with glitter couldn’t be found. As we were walking to the register my son kicked something on the floor without noticing, but it caught my eye. And it was a ball filled with pink glitter!

The secret to all this, though, is that each of us was in a relaxed place mentally and physically. Pretty rare for a parent and two pre-teens. If even just one of us had been grumpy or irritated I’m sure that ball wouldn’t have jumped in front of us like that. It still would have been hiding and this little bit of grace would have eluded us.

Because we allowed the empty spaces to be empty, grace was free to fill them up with a pink glitter ball. No matter what you’re in need of, the principle is the same and works just as easily. It will take some practice to allow yourself to leave the voids open for grace, but you can do it.


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