placing the blame

placing the blame

I asked him, “What does it mean to be blessed?”

He asked me, “What does it mean to be blameless?”

I turned to the Oxford Dictionary to make sure I strip my answer of all assumption: “Innocent of wrongdoing. To be beyond reproach, i.e. disappointment or disapproval.”

He said, “The two tie together.”

“But how could I ever be totally blameless? I make mistakes every day.”

He turned to me, “Innocence is not something to be earned. It is a state of grace.”

“What do you mean by a state of grace?”

“Being blameless or innocent is often reduced to not breaking ‘the rules’ but it goes deeper than that. It starts with having the truth about who you are written on your heart and living from that place. But that’s only possible if you recognise the countless forms of grace that empower everyday life.”

We sit in silence for a while. He asks, “Did you watch the Oscars?”

A surprised smile forms on the edges of my mouth:  “I caught bits and pieces.”

“Did you see Matthew McConaughey’s acceptance speech?”

I nod and try to remember what he said in the three minutes he was up there: “Oh of course… He spoke about how he’s blessed and he’s received so many good things only by grace.”

“Yes, but he also mentioned three things that he needs each day. Do you remember what the first one was?”

“Someone to look up to?” I say/ask tentatively.

“Exactly. He started out by acknowledging that he needs someone greater than himself, and the people around him, to look up to. Why do you think that is an important thing to have?”

Another pause as I rewind and replay our conversation in my mind: the questions that led to more questions.

“Because then you have someone to follow… An example or a leader who is blameless. You’re not left to figure it out alone as you go along… There’s a security, but also freedom, in that.”

He smiles, “I think you’ve answered your own question.”

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