We've only begun the first few chapters, and I had the joy of teaching a couple last night. (One of the finest ways to learn is to teach.) While I'm coming away with a deeper understanding of a number of familiar ideas, one concept that Dykstra examined was a new way of thinking for me.
He proposes that the current popularity of "random acts of kindness" is not the direction we should be going in terms of expressing grace. Random acts are somewhat passive as we wait for the opportunity to present itself before we act. While it is a redeeming moment, only two (or few) people gain from the exchange.
Dykstra urges us to be more intentional in our grace, to make it a practice and one that is communal. That means being able to establish guidelines and boundaries and to communicate it to others, inviting their participation. By doing this, we share it among its practitioners and recipients: grace abounds. This easily applies to acts of service, but think how it would apply also to reading, prayer, daily routine, and more. I see brief bursts of such communal grace here on the Interwebs, and I see its power for good.
I find this very appealing. Those who receive my emails see Gandhi's quote (also posted under my banner); it is an urge to act upon the philosophy we have which makes this a better world. (Note that it doesn't say what that might be. A whole 'nother post.)
I find this new way of looking at "good deeds" very inviting. To be intentional sets it the forefront of our consciousness. While we continue to look for those moments where grace can make itself known, let us make it a communal practice in whatever way we can.
I will need some time to think about how I would turn my call to teach inclusiveness into a practice. It demands a structure that currently is not firm. I have been passive as I wait for opportunities to speak and teach. And I am learning so much. Every day brings a new awareness of just how much I do not know.
This happy coincidence of learning has energized me. May the grace which feeds me be known by all who wish it. That is my call.