Sometimes God is in our mistakes. At least, sometimes in our mistakes, grace happens. The penultimate line of yesterday’s poem contains a typo. But a pretty good one. You may sit with either the intended version or the unintentional one. That’s poetry. And I have to sit with the mistake. That’s life.
Mistakes happen. Sometimes it’s just the humorous slapstick of auto-correct gone wild. Sometimes it’s just us. We sin without knowing it more than we knowingly sin. Sometimes we hurt someone without realizing it. We intend one thing, but do another. We believe we’re doing one thing, but we’re actually doing something else. Our mind thinks one thing, our hand writes another. (That’s how we write poetry.) We can look at what we’re doing and, fooled by our preconceptions, not see it for what it is. St. Paul says “I know the right thing, then do the wrong thing.” Sometimes a big chunk of life is a Freudian slip. We never outpace our need for confession.
But sometimes when our lives slip out from under our control grace happens. As Joseph says to his brothers in Egypt, “You intended to do me harm, but God intended it for good.” I think of Jesus’ parable about the sower sowing seeds, and some seeds fall on the path and are eaten by birds. How the birds thank God for that. And how the parable forgives everyone, the birds, the seed, the weeds, the sower, the sun.
So today pay attention to what you’re doing. And be aware that life is not always in our control, and that grace happens no matter what. Forgive yourself for your mistakes. Look for blessing even there. But proofread anyway.
What I said in the poem: “the almost rests.”
What I meant: “the almond rests.”
They both work. Take your pick.
as today’s temperature
repents of yesterday’s,
the wind’s erasures
not in your hand,
the sky a palimpsest of clouds,
and life continually
revealing and unrevealing itself.
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