Sunday, March 6, 2011

No Peace

I think it started yesterday morning, when I arrived at mom’s place. The little magnet still sat on the kitchen counter, the word CLEAN bold in front of me as I began to empty the dishwasher. Until I saw all the dirty dishes and silverware from the mornings breakfast, mixed in with the clean. Perhaps the letters in the word “clean” weren’t large enough for the caregiver to notice …

I had a lot to do yesterday, papers to read, others to edit, and things to be written. But with interruptions every five minutes, I couldn’t concentrate enough to accomplish anything, and the day passed by with my helping mom with many things, and nodding again and again to her many repeated thoughts and words. But then again, that is what I was there for. I looked forward to the quiet in the chapel at midnight, but as I glanced out the window while waiting for the substitute caregiver to arrive, I noticed the “half-inch of snow” that was forecast, as it lay upon my car --- about six inches deep. The caregiver arrived late, as I expected with the weather, but still, I looked forward to the peace I’d have shortly. Until I noticed the little message indicator on my phone --- the chapel was being closed because of the weather.

Oh well, at least I didn’t make the long drive on the snowy roads, before finding it was closed.

The roads were still very slippery this morning, and the church parking lot unplowed as I arrived early, to say the prayers and meditations I had missed the night before. But I wasn’t early enough, as the choir was there practicing, laughing, and joking. I thought found a quiet place in the gym, but a parade of people trooped in and out, a number stopping in front of me and asking: “Are you finding it quieter in here?”

Back at church, as the mass began, a woman sat in the pew in front of me with her young daughter. I closed my eyes to avoid the constant commotion, but I couldn’t avoid noticing when the mother began rummaging in her purse, as the priest raised the host at Consecration. I closed my eyes again then, and pretty much kept them closed, praying the prayers with the priest, and saying the Our Father. I guess I opened them at just the right moment, before the sign of peace, as the young girl sneezed into her hands and then turned to shake mine (yes, it does happen). I hesitated a moment, and then her mother turned around with a big smile at me, to watch her wonderful daughter wish me well. A sign of peace (and I wondered what else).

I knelt and closed my eyes again and so many things wandered through my brain behind them. No, I had no peace. But then I noticed a quiet in the church, and opened my eyes to look down the aisle toward the front of the church. There stood the minister, waiting to begin the distribution of the Eucharist: Jesus there, waiting for me. My mind was troubled and I was looking for peace everywhere and not finding it. Finally, It came to me.

Outside the sun was now shining, and I noticed that the parking lot had gotten plowed, and the nice pile of snow plowed around all four sides of my car. I’m guessing the man with the plow didn’t find any peace either, when he saw my single car sitting there in the middle of his plowing job --- and he let me know. Oh well, perhaps I had my peace for the day.

I stopped for coffee on the way to mom’s. At the restaurant the waitress first stopped at the booth next to me and proceeded to have a long conversation with the woman there. Glancing at my watch, I couldn’t help notice that four minutes passed, nor could I help hearing the conversation, and – I swear – I couldn’t stop myself from counting. Forty-seven “likes” in four minutes. Is that, like, a record?

I think I’ll not try to accomplish anything this afternoon. The sun is shining, the birds are at the window feeder, and the icicles are gently dripping from the eaves, and mom has so many things to tell me --- again. I paused in my typing just now to help her onto the porta-potty, and as I lifted her up felt the wetness fall onto my foot. Yes, she has so many things to tell me, and give me. After all, isn’t that what I’m here for?

We all have days in which we can find no peace. It’s just part of life, but they don’t have to make us anxious. We can choose not to be. And as for me, it’s Sunday. The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. This is a day of rest, not to worry about accomplishing anything, not even those tasks which I feel He is calling me to do. Tomorrow will be a day of much work for me. Tomorrow. But as for now, well look: Indiana Jones is on the television! I wonder how Indy will, like, handle the bad guys.

I’ll let you know in some other post.


  1. I read your post about a very trying day. I can relate to that.
    I hope you can,like, get a good night's rest

    Tongue in cheek

  2. This was one of my most favorite things this day, this week, this year. Welcome back, Maryellen. Welcome back.