3rd Sunday in Advent; Dark grace…

Michaela has been reading Richard Rohr’s daily meditations on her phone. She often gets excited and texts me things she is reading. The other day it was all about something called dark grace. The idea that God is not interested in the bits of us that are shiny and bright- rather he loves the dark shadowy bits; those parts of us that we hide. Those parts that we are shamed by, where we are bruised and broken.

To these areas, God sends dark grace. Grace that rests on our hidden places.

I wrote this poem…

the clyde at night

Dark Grace


It was not to show light that light entered this world

For light is never seen in the bright light of day

It can only fall on those bruised and oft-used places

Where darkness lies

Like old oil

In the sump between us


For this is no artificial lime light, pointed only

To make even greasepaint appear appropriate

No, it glows in the hollow places

Revealing the rainbow slick

In the ink-black blood

Pumped from subterranean veins


This light lights kindly on every ugly corrugation

Lingers on warts and shines from my slick fat flesh

It knows me, not as I would be, but in the sewer I swim in

Perhaps it is not light after all

But a kind of illuminated darkness

A sort of dark grace


This light is livid, alive only

When it illuminates the unlovely

There revealed once more

In the dark light of love

Lit up in the indigo darkness

Where we really are

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