Fields of Grace

Why “Fields of Grace?”

I have been captivated by this phrase ever since I heard it first sung in a Hillsong worship song, “All of My Days:”

All your works will praise you
Your children bless your name
We speak of all your goodness
We walk in fields of grace.

I could so clearly picture myself, with all my imperfections, troubles, errant ways and thoughts, stepping–no, running!– through these “fields of grace” and enjoying the calming, soothing, nourishing, refreshing grace of God as it washes over me. This song still brings a smile to my face every time I sing it.

Recently, another song, written with a similar theme, spoke into my life:

There’s a place where I love to run and play
There’s a place where I sing new songs of praise
Dancing with my Father God in fields of grace

There’s a place where I lose myself in Him
There’s a place where I find myself again
Dancing with my Father God in fields of grace

I love my Father, my Father loves me
I dance for my Father, my Father sings over me
And nothing, nothing
Nothing can take that away from me

There’s a place where religion finally dies
There’s a place where I lose my selfish pride
Dancing with my Father God in fields of grace

(Fields of Grace by Darrell Evans)

This ain’t no Sunday stroll. This is every day dancing, jumping, leaping in celebration (sorry, you still won’t catch me doing this at church!) Joyfully, ecstatically, praising the God of all grace who graces us every day with his goodness and mercy. What a gift!

So, while this blog won’t always be about grace, and while I won’t always feel like dancing as I write it, I would like to frame it in the unconditional love and goodness of God. It’s my desire that it will–often–celebrate grace and encourage everyone who visits it to dance their own dance in God’s amazing fields of grace.
(And, just in case you’re wondering, the web address “difog” stands for “dancing in fields of grace”.)

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13 thoughts on “Fields of Grace

  1. Jon, I first read this about 15 years ago when Richard Foster visited Sydney. I’ve had it on the wall of my study ever since.
    Jean Pierre de Caussade described prayer as that moment when “our soul, light as a feather, fluid as water, innocent as a child responds to every movement of grace like a floating balloon.”

  2. John, great to see you blogging. And a good one to start with. “Dancing in fields of grace” is a great image. One of my pet theories is that because grace is a perfect gift of God (and what makes a gift good is that the giver is persent in it) then grace is God’s gift of himself (his whole self) to us and not just his goodness and mercy. As the song says, “Dancing with my Father God in fields of grace.” No matter where we are, if we are dancing with God then we are in fields of grace. Stephen

    • I guess the image is what appeals to me. I can actually see myself dancing in God’s beautiful, multi-coloured, multi-layered fields of grace as I sing it. One day I’ll paint a picture of it! Kathryn, I LOVE that poem. It meets me on so many levels. Thank you.

  3. And read this recently …

    PRAYER’S JOURNEY

    Prayer once was:
    A formula to follow
    Head logic
    Self justified
    Lists of requests
    Words of a reluctant listener
    Duty bound

    Prayer then became:
    A wrestling match
    Fiery “whys?”
    Angry ventings
    Despairing cries for help
    Stagnating into empty silences
    Giving into brokenness

    Prayer is now:
    Renewed awareness
    Responding to the Divine
    Celebrating the ordinary
    Bursts of insight
    Jumps of joy
    Pictures in my mind
    Spirit’s quiet breathing
    Cleansing tears
    Holy anger
    Deep compassion
    Healing solitude
    Creative expression
    Constant surprises
    A journey of the heart

    Val Roberts

  4. I loved the word Jeff gave us ages ago – perichoresis – divine dance – that has given me similar images that yiou speak about Jon. I love it.

  5. Found this today Jon as I was looking for some resources for Holy Week. It’s from a website I only discovered a couple of weeks ago: http://www.sacredise.com

    The Turning Dance

    by John van de Laar

    © 2009 Sacredise

    How much we struggle to turn, God;

    Even when we feel the pain

    of the road we’re on,

    we find it hard to admit it,

    and to change course.

    But, if we will just begin to dance,

    to stop our single-minded marching

    and allow the voice in the wilderness

    to call the tune,

    our dance will turn us

    from despair to hope,

    from destruction to creativity,

    from emptiness and death to abundant life.

    And so we pray,

    for the leaders and the followers to dance together

    for the able and the disable to dance together

    for the needy and the satisfied to dance together

    for the whole and the broken to dance together

    for the believer and the sceptic to dance together

    for all creation and every creature to dance together

    until the eternal dance turns us all

    and brings us in step with you.

    Amen.

  6. Kathryn, I love John’s work. Read his booklet on worship (downloadable from the site). I confess I tried to bring this into our worship leaders’ conversation, but it fell flat. I got a few blank stares as if to say ‘This isn’t what I think worship is.’ That’s OK. I only wish we could all have articulated where we were at the time. If you’re on Twitter, follow John. He has some great thoughts from time to time.

  7. In ‘Sacred Pathways’ Gary Thomas talks about how God has given us many rooms to worship in, but so often we remain in just one. We love to talk about being individually, uniquely created by God, but then expect everyone to worship in the same way. Unfortunately so many people then feel disengaged in our worship gatherings, and haven’t been nurtured to experience worship out of who God has created them to be.

    I took the worship team through a test developed by Howard Gardner (Multiple Intelligences) a few years ago, and I chuckled because some people who came up strongly ‘Body Intelligent’ argued because for them music was so important. Gardner says we shouldn’t ask how intelligent is a child, but rather, how is a child intelligent. We should be asking also how does a child/adult worship.

    I thank God for Gardner, because through him I explored and played with worship for a person who has Body Intelligence – no, I don’t play sport … would love to dance … but my study has masks, wine bottle labels, beading, paintings, colour, texture … all a part of my worship, reflection, study, prayer … where does that fit in a typical Sunday?

  8. I appreciated your comment: “Gardner says we shouldn’t ask how intelligent is a child, but rather, how is a child intelligent. We should be asking also how does a child/adult worship.” It seems modern church wants to place all worshippers into one group and expect them to relate to God in the same way. Sacred Pathways really opened my eyes to see how vastly diverse the worship experience needs to be in order to meet each person where they are at any moment. However, following a formula won’t allow this to happen.
    Brian has some good stuff to say about Christianity’s comfort zone in his latest, but I’ll get to that in a later post. (Hope the book becomes available here soon so we all can have a conversation about it together.)

  9. Jon, I just had a fabulous time with a friend praying for some other friends … as we were praying I felt ‘the need’ to light a candle … then took a rough wooden cross off my shelf and placed next to the candle … and then picked up some funny little clay faces I use with students, and one by one, they represented people we were praying for, and as we prayed, laid them by the cross … we prayed for ages .. words rolling from our mouths … gently holding each person before God … for me it felt like coming home to the place where I belong, rather than trying to fit in someone else’s mould.

  10. Hey guys…thanks so much for your comments, they are really helpful in engaging my mind into thought…….Thanks Kathryn for your last post…just so beautiful to think about how you prayed for people in that moment…so beautiful, and has really touched me! what an inspiration to prayer for me…its been a while.
    thanks for your encouraging words!

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