Gracefall is guided by our relational epistemology; our Trinitarian theology; our belief that the Imago Dei is at the core of every person; our understanding of evil and sin’s marring of that image; and our calling to call forth the created glory.
We are, before and above all else, Trinitarians. We agree with Larry Crabb that before God created a star, an angel, a planet or any kind of life God was and is three people enjoying an eternal party. All that is perfect and good in relationships is rooted in God’s very Triune nature. He is, by definition: “perfect relationship” – indeed, He is love. We start here because we believe that all of us were created to join the party. We are created for and out of love.
Unfortunately, we derailed the plan, choosing self-interest over relationships. Borrowing Neville Symington’s idea, we chose narcissism over the life force that was offered to us by the Triune God.
Covenant Epistemology reminds us that anthropology continually emerges, changing and growing rather than being statically ontological. As we grow and learn, the Holy Spirit continues to make and shape us into the image of God Himself.
Rather than seeing people as jigsaw puzzles who have missing and broken pieces (with a part of the Imago Dei missing); we envision the Imago Dei to be a priceless diamond that resides at the core of every person; reflecting the glory of God. Evil, however, mars and smears the Imago Dei with faeces to such a degree that it is unrecognizable and can barely reflect the glory of God at all.
The marring of the Imago Dei along with the destruction of the opportunity for perfect relationships with creation and the Creator is sin. In short, sin is “anything that mars, scars or covers over the Imago Dei, violating either our relationship to God or creation.” The result of the sin is shame that is either itself death, or leads to death.
Our focus is on helping people discover the Imago Dei that resides in their heart. It is often hidden and covered with open wounds and scars. That disfigurement leads to shame. Though our scars never go away, we can learn to see our wound’s beauty. As shame loses its death grip, we can enter into new and profound relationships that are transformed by beauty and strength.
Evan Puschak (thenerdwriter on YouTube) introduced us to Kintsugi providing us with a metaphor for our work. In kintsugi, broken ceramics are carefully joined back together with a gold resin. The golden fractures enhance the piece’s beauty; the faults — fixed by gold — make the piece more beautiful.
As soul artisans, we find that broken bits and fragments of peoples’ souls must be found and cleaned. It is not easy work because tarlike excrement often weds itself to the Imago Dei, and no amount of scrubbing seems to get the piece clean. It is only accomplished in the context of a relationship.
This idea guides how we walk with and love people. We help our clients piece together their broken lives, joining them together with gold that makes even their scars shimmer and dance. We hope people grow to celebrate rather than hide their scars, showing them off to a world that tried to destroy them
When all is said and done, Gracefall helps women and men move to a place of freedom, peace, and contentment; lifting their eyes from shame to grace. As the dance one the dancefloors of the eternal party which they were created to join.
As a general rule, all of us are interested in our client’s stories and how that story has been changed by the story of others. All of us are first and foremost relational and psychodynamic in our counseling approach. We are interested in birthing hope through the administration of grace in every situation.
Also, we partner with reFresh (another ministry of ACT Intl) to help people with spiritual formation.