Marilynne Robinson on Prevenient Courage
Sometimes, when I walk the streets of my town, I imagine Silverton as it will look after the full reconciliation of all things. I see the people, places, and non-human creatures of my community finally, fully themselves. It’s not a very specific vision of flourishing but it is a great source of hope and inspiration to me. There is a much better description of this in the pages of my favorite novel, Gilead (IndieBound), by Marilynne Robinson:
Wherever you turn your eyes the world can shine like transfiguration. You don’t have to bring a thing to it except a little willingness to see. Only, who could have the courage to see it?…Theologians talk about a prevenient grace that precedes grace itself and allows us to accept it. I think there must also be a prevenient courage that allows us to be brave—that is, to acknowledge that there is more beauty than our eyes can bear, that precious things have been put into our hands and to do nothing to honor them is to do great harm.