This week I was blessed to perceive and appreciate three moments of illumination in my day… they all came in the midst of a very normal day in our fair city… but as seems to be our God’s way the normal got lifted up to the divine.
The People We Love Without Realizing It
Our parish hosts a women’s shelter for 21 homeless women preparing to reenter the world in homes/jobs of their own. This past week one of the ladies “graduated” and asked if a friend could park in our lot to help her move into her own independent apartment. Of course the answer was, “yes.” She was so excited; a huge grin spread from ear-to-ear. Gushing with joy she hugged me and then dropped to one knee to hug my dog, Annie. “I’ll miss you little pup! Seeing you every afternoon and hearing you bark when those trashy dogs walk down the street!” Quietly, in the background of my day to day experience, this wonderful lady had become part of my life… and Annie’s… and we a part of hers… part enough, anyway, so that she knew Annie’s habits and schedules. It got me thinking, “I will miss seeing this person.” Who are the other people in our lives that are part of the background… and yet -undeniably- part of our joy?
Joy on the Metro
On the Metro a totally diverse group of riders (myself included) watched as a family with a small boy boarded the train. The kid was so excited to be on a train and bounced Into the first seat he saw with a great big grin on his face. Everyone… myself, the man with dreadlocks, the Asian tourists… everyone lit up as this little kid shone with joy on the Metro. It may seem like a small thing, a tiny thing in fact… but it made everyone’s day better. This becomes the stuff of our discernment, or it ought to become the stuff of our discernment. What are these moments in my life?
Lord Acquit Me Of Hidden Faults!
I went to get my hair cut at a long time DC barbershop, “Diego’s.” I’ve been there a few times. I like the cut I get there and the vibe of the shop is happily busy. You can tell the barbers have known each other for some time and enjoy working there. The owner is kind of a local monument… one of the last traditional barber’s in his neighborhood, and I admit I was a little intimidated about meeting him. Silly, right? But true nonetheless. I also assumed by his name, “Diego” and from hearing him speak with his employees across the shop that he was a native Spanish speaker. While I can read Spanish, speaking is a whole other world. The long and the short of it is that despite the pleasant environment, I retreated into a quiet shell as my hair got cut. Then something happened. Sitting in one fo the chairs I heard Diego speak Italian with one fo the women dying her hair. What? Italian? All of a sudden I was in my element!! After m trim, I walked up to Diego and introduced myself in the old tongue. We struck up a conversation along with another one of the barbers and discovered that we had places in common in Italy: towns, home provinces etc. My whole experience opened up! Afterwards, riding the metro home I thanked God for the experience of meeting new people… but I also asked his forgiveness for my silly anxieties, which very nearly hampered a really great afternoon. Lord, acquit me of unseen faults so that I may be free to live life to the full!