Wednesday, January 25, 2006

It's all around us, every day

All good things come to an end. In this case, one of my favorite television shows will be going off the air this May. NBC has announced the cancellation of "TheWest Wing".

Politics aside, it was a show marked by incredible writing, some amazing plot twists, and fine acting. Some of the characters were so real, many wished they could vote for them. Of course, like real life, there were the characters, (Toby Ziegler comes to mind) that you loved to hiss and boo!

Martin Sheen, the fine actor who played the president on the show, was interviewed the day after the cancellation was announced. He mentioned that his experience of being on the show was, "Amazing, incredible, grace-filled."


Now that is not a word one expects to emerge from the mouth of an actor on a TV show. While Sheen is a man of strong faith, it was still surprising to hear that phrase from his lips.

The reality, though, is that we rarely hear that phrase from anyone's lips these days. I go home and Bonnie asks how my day was and I might say something about a lot of meetings, stress, hospital visits, but she could probably count the times I have said 'grace-filled' on one finger.

People I ask, folks who go to this church, other churches, those who are clergy, those who are generous and good and kind, rarely use that phrase in describing their days or lives.

Yet, the evidence is all around us, isn't it? From a crisp, cold winter's night to a gorgeous sunrise; from children laughing at the movies to a daughter caring for her elderly mother; from folks willing to go to places like Pakistan, the Gulf Coast, Banda Ache to provide relief to those mentoring our children in schools - God's grace fills our lives, our days, our every moment.

Maybe, like Sheen, we need to develop the ear, the eye, the soul to see and hear and feel such grace throughout our days, so that when someone asks us, "How was your day, your week, your month, your job, your trip, your life, whatever?" our immediate response, our grateful response, will be simply,


(c) 2006 Thom M. Shuman

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