|Sir Norman Wisdom 1915-2010|
Today is a day for discovering grace - that peculiar heart-lifting, grin making, peace affording, pain stilling energy which permeates this world and provides us with a glimpse of your love.
Finding grace is not like counting blessings, its far more comedic than that. It's far more 'Norman Wisdom'; like playing peek-a-boo with your infant self. It's packed full of giggles and moments of wonder that something so simple can give rise to so much joy and contentment - even if there were a million tears just thirty seconds earlier.
There are, of course, proven 'means of grace'... Wesley wrote enough about them (come to think of it, so have I!) but there are also the more spontaneous and less religious means which we too often forget about, but which God chooses to remind us of - if we go looking.
Great comedians like Norman Wisdom had that rare gift of being able to remind us of that fact. It was impossible to take yourself seriously when watching one of his films.. and who can see his face without wanting to smile?
Yet in his films he often played the most vulnerable, love-lorn, helpless characters - 'real' people, not 'clever' people. The ones that did fall down, get pushed around, live in a daze, and yet make the whole world laugh through their childlike innocence and generosity of Spirit. His films frequently turned on a moment of grace, when his character was helped to see that he was loved, just as he was.
In his real life he epitomized the bizarre comedic nature of grace - after all who would have thought that someone born so poverty stricken could rise to become such a star - ending up a cult figure in communist Albania no less! - and all by making the world laugh!
In memory of Norman who died today aged 95 - I shall try to enjoy it when I fall down today. Instead of complaining or resenting the inevitable embarrassment of looking an idiot in public, I shall try and find some way to pick myself back up, dust myself down, and look around in surprise for whatever tripped me up.
In his honour, and for my own benefit - I shall spend today looking for the unexpected, for the comedic, for the moment of grace that teaches me to not only 'get a life' but to live it laughing for as long as I can.