Amazed by Grace

Amazed by Grace

What has three years without food and living on a feeding tube taught me?  Many things.  But today I want to talk about grace. Grace is not a one-time act of rescue.  It is not a one-night-only show.  It is a lifestyle.  It is a partnership with God.  It is the means by which we mortals access the enabling power of God.  Grace is not just an act of mercy or salvation.  It is a process of transformation.  Grace works.  It works on us.  It works with us.

To say that we are saved by grace is true but vastly understated and oversimplified. It’s like saying we are “saved” by oxygen. Grace makes spiritual respiration possible. It feeds the marrow of our souls. It sustains and transforms immortal metabolisms. We are saved by grace, changed by grace, sustained by grace and, consequently, amazed by grace.

Grace is even more than the enabling power of God.  It is the enabling presence of God.  It is the presence of God manifested not only through his Holy Spirit, but also through the kind and helping hands of others. It is the power that has sustained me for the past three years and allowed me to survive. Please watch this seven-minute video to learn more about my journey with grace:

For more ideas and discussion on suffering and utilizing love as a powerful coping mechanism for suffering, please read my books Gethsemamnesia and Built to Love, available now in paperback.

6 thoughts on “Amazed by Grace

  1. Hi Dan;

    In talking with my daughter, Rachel, who’s a registered nurse in Toronto, I told her about your 3 years on the feeding tube. She was immediately sympathetic and wasted no time pointing out few things that I hadn’t really thought much about.

    For those less in the know as I was, Rachel reminded me that eating is much more than just for survival, it’s something very fundamental that families and society revolve around in virtually every culture around the world. There a very real and significant sensory and mental/emotional component tied to food and its consumption and being able to share in a healthy, tasty meal with family and friends. She also pointed the healthy interaction (talking, laughing, etc.) in preparing and serving food, again, which many of us take for granted.

    As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a lover of tasty food, a food addict actually, who’s trying to overcome some terrible habits and your story humbles me a good deal.

    Another point to consider, is that the person on the feeding tube quite often shows no visible illness, possibly making theirs. something of a private battle. Which reminds, of this quote I read that said,

    ‘Everyone you meet may be fighting a battle you know nothing about, always be kind’

    I’ve changed the wording slightly and I’m not sure who spoke this quote originally.

    In short, the mental, emotional and social impact of being fed solely by a tube for long term can be greater than that, that those of us who can eat, can fully appreciate. There’s also an impact on the individual’s family and friends as well.

    Daniel, if Grace “is the means by which we mortals access the enabling power of God” then not only have you demonstrated that power in your life but you’ve also helped many others like myself move towards the same through your example of gutsy endurance and truly inspirational writing.

    1. Sorry, didn’t mean to use upper case ‘G’ on ‘grace’, I’m just so used to using caps on deity titles and in my blind hurry, thought that’s what I was doing, hence also a couple other typos and grammar mistakes. Gotta slow down and proof-read better, given there’s no way to go back and correct after posting 🙂

  2. Your story and experience is truly inspiring. How fantastic and amazing that you are able to eat again! Your suffering seems beyond the ability to endure and it is so good to hear that things could improve. I have battled an autoimmune lung disease and am hoping for remission. Time will tell, and I am also dealing with damage from long-term steroid use, but I don’t care either. I am just glad to still be here, to have more time with my family, and to live life. Thank you for sharing your thoughts which have strengthened me in my journey. I have shared your blog with my brother and sister who have suffered through a debilitating kidney disease for the past 20 years in the hope that your example will help them with their never ending pain and suffering. Thank you.

  3. Dan;

    I’m embarrassed to tell you that just before my last posting, I had only watched your excellent video about 2/3rds through, with the intent to return later and watch it to the end. I was completely unaware that you just had your J-tube removed (March 16th) but thanks to my daughter, Rachel (the nurse) who had watched all of the video and pointed that out, I went back and watched it over again from beginning to end.

    In her e-mail to me, Rachel said;
    “Wow so he JUST got his J-tube out?! I bet that was a very, very special experience for him!”

    All I can add to that is a warm CONGRATULATIONS, we’re really happy for you!
    Although your battle may not be over, we hope with your strong faith, love and positive energy, along with the love from your family and friends and of course, with the nourishment of good nutritious and T-A-S-T-Y food, that you’ll make as close as possible to a miraculously full recovery!

    Hugs, 😊

  4. Dan, thank you for sharing this. I am sincerely glad to know that you are getting better! Your words truly have power and i really appreciate your messages. Its become something i look forward to. So thank you, and congratulations !!

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