Essence and Grace

Your essence is what goes before you to make the crooked places straight. Although in the last days of my husband’s illness, I had turned into a witch, albeit an exhausted one, my essence apparently outweighed me by an astral ton. Thank God for that.

For after his funeral, when the sleet had annihilated our chances of getting home for Christmas and a chance to sleep in our own beds, essence arose and took the form of a black woman by the name of Mary. There in the Marriott Courtyard (a very symbolic name), she served us like we were royalty. You can imagine my surprise when I discovered that she and I had something in common. Her son was a St. Jude’s patient, too. But he had lived.

Essence served essence and that is how it is and how it should be. Essence is our birthright; that thing we have covered over with the slime of self-importance. Were it not for essence, God would not still be alive and well on this polluted orb. And it is not essence who polluted it.

Essence cannot be manipulated, distributed or catered to. It cannot be bought or sold, forgiven or admired. It is that thing in us that is not a thing.

Every word uttered by man is lost and forgotten. But essence doesn’t speak; in that way it is safe for the ages.

Notice I am not using the word “love” for that is man’s idea and not God’s. God is our essence. God is us at our most unworthy, for it is then that He has a chance to enter the picture and elevate any situation.

That night in the Marriott Courtyard, when Vicki was tattered and torn, essence appeared and fed her true manna. It looked like ham and the trimmings but it tasted like pure grace. And that it was.

Vicki Woodyard


    1. After I wrote it, I went to get a haircut. Sam, my female hairdresser, quoted this to me. “We are perfect in our imperfections.” And that led me to tell her the story. She said, “Why have you never told me this before?” I sometimes think it was the most meaningful thing that ever happened to me. It healed everyone of us there that night.


  1. Beautiful, Vicki.
    Truth be told.
    Thank you.

    Thought you might like this one from Rumi:

    Whoever finds love
    beneath hurt and grief
    disappears into emptiness
    with a thousand new disguises.

    Stef x


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