Grace and Truth

I have held many incorrect assumptions about grace and truth. For instance, I believed at one point that telling the truth was wrong in many cirumstances because it hurt people’s feelings. On the other hand, I thought it was a percentage then between grace and truth, like if you have 80% truth, then you have 20% grace.

So, I have been studying the relationship between the two because I suspect that what I’ve thought is incorrect, but I haven’t know how. Here’s what I’ve found so far. I think we can figure out our boundaries using a combination of grace and truth. I believe we don’t have grace without truth or truth without grace. I believe it is loving to speak the truth with grace.

I’m working on this for myself and for the next novel I’m going to write, Queen of the Third Grade. I think the prep work will take a while, but I’m excited. My guide is Jesus, full of grace and truth.

white swan
Photo by Anthony on

Grace and Truth

I like the concept of blending grace and truth. Favour you can’t do anything to receive, it just is — and the reality at the bottom of everything. I like it, but I’m not sure I’m very good at it, or maybe I should say I’m not sure I even understand how to keep them both at work. I think I may lean hard toward grace, and let truth go begging. That’s probably because I shrink back from assuming I know the truth sometimes, and I shrink back from the possibility of it hurting someone’s feelings other times.

girl and woman sitting on brown rock
Photo by Nicholas Githiri on

Sooo, I also suspect that my novels may be developing a pattern of exploring concepts I’m not quite sure about when I start them. The last one played around with fear. Whew! That sounded like an oxymoron if I ever heard one. The next one is going to dabble in grace and truth.

Now, if you’ve read this far, I’d like to ask a favor. What do you think about grace and truth? Do you have insights or experiences that have clarified the whole thing for you? If so, please share them in the comments.  I’d love to hear them, and thank you very much.

What Darth Vader has to do With a Sea Otter

In the long ago days of the late 1900s, the biologists handled otters with gloves, but wore their regular clothes and didn’t cover their faces. So, the otters liked people. When they were released, they would climb into boats or onto kayaks looking for fun or food. This became a problem when the human so invaded didn’t have food or think having an otter aboard was particularly fun.

Now, otter biologists work with rescued otters wearing a big black suit that even covers their heads. Guess what they call it. Yep, the Darth Vader suit. Now, when they release otters, the otters don’t go looking for human companionship or groceries anymore.

Another thing I just learned is that about 60% of the otter population in Elkhorn Slough, a little north of Monterey, are descendants of rescued otters. How about that!

Sea Otters in the Wild

I have been given a great idea! The research I do for novels I will share on my blog. That will keep it fresh in my mind, help me sort out what I want to use, and give you some info. you may not have had before.

The protagonist in my current work in progress, Rogue Wave, is a sea otter biologist. Hence, we learn about sea otters.

Just about everyone knows they float upside down so they can break open abalone shells with rocks and eat them. In the wild, they also like sea anemones, crabs, sea urchins, octopus, turban snails, mussels, and innkeeper worms. What I didn’t know is that a sea otter pup usually prefers the same foods his or her mother likes, and otters spend eight of every 24 hours finding and eating their food.

Besides humans, otters have only one other predator, the Great White Shark. However, humans nearly did them in before otters were protected. We wanted their gorgeous, soft fur for coats. Otter fur  has two layers, the guard hair outer soft layer and the underfur. They spend a great deal of each day grooming themselves, and flipping in the water to keep buoyant from air bubbles in their fur. One square inch of their fur has between 170,000 and 1,000,000 hairs. I know some middle aged men who would die for that much hair.

Sea otters like to live in giant kelp because they feed on sea urchins that live there, and the otters wrap up in the kelp to sleep.Sea urchins destroy kelp. Otters keep the sea urchin population down and help the whole kelp forest environment. The otters tend to feed alone, or with a pup, but they rest in groups, sometimes out on the beach.

When an otter leaves the ocean, it’s called “hauling out.” California otters do this less than Alaskan otters, and females more than males. They are fast swimmers, but a little clunky on the beach because their back feet are flippers. They might remind you of Dustin Hoffman’s flipper scene in The Graduate.

Next time, I’ll tell you about what biologists are learning from aquarium otters.