Grace And Gratitude
I turn out to have the shank of the afternoon to sit at the desk and ponder a bit on life and the infinitude we face in every day, the universe in a grain of sand as it has been put. My post below about Dave Shifflett's Karma Farmers' CD would strikes me as a jumping off point.
I have never met Dave but we've carried on a sporadic e-mail acquaintanceship since I called his attention to Glenn Reynolds' mention of the "Floor Creak" (see link in sidebar) CD on InstaPundit. Dave was nice enough to send me a copy of the disc and I have spent many entirely pleasurable hours listening to it since. Some time later I sent him a copy of Jake Armerding's self-titled CD as I am an evangelist for Jake's music and will be always unless he does something like publicly insult me (which he's too good a person to ever do, of course). I afterward touched base with Dave to see if he liked Jake's work (he did) whereupon he offered to send me, gratis, a copy of "Songs for Aging Cynics." I demurred saying I'd buy one from him (at a good price - I'm reasonably frugal). Which is how I came into the possession of the disc.
But what sticks in my mind is something I wrote to Dave in my note with the money for the music. I consider myself the recipient of undeserving grace for what happened to resolve, not for ever but certainly in a big way, many of the problems that were so deeply troubling to me in the last year. I blogged then about the depth of my depression and won't dive back into the deep end again. Part of what I feel about such a gift of grace is the obligation to do right by way of support music and musicians. It may not make entire sense but music matters to me. I can't (yet) make it but I feel the strong compulsion to not pirate it and to not take advantage of it when it comes my way. Not taking advantage includes putting at least a few bucks into the pot when I could take the music at no cost to me.
This, to me, is a kind of down payment on the grace I received. It is something I can do that is like unto what I got. I can tangibly express gratitude for the music that feeds my soul as I try to hold the gratitude to God in my soul. It is not a rational thing, I fully understand. But as much as the compulsion to maintain my gratefulness for the grace, I am compelled to maintain my gratefulness to those who make the music I love. I'd like to be the source of some unbidden grace as much as I'm the recipient of it.