Friday, December 4, 2015
As I write this, I’m back at home, in my parish’s adoration chapel for my Tuesday night hour --- what a blessing that I might be here, Lord.
On the radio, shortly before I arrived at the church, I heard the news about another man being arrested for attempting to climb over the metal fence surrounding the White House, and the thought struck me: a fence keeps people away from the home of the U.S. president, while here God --- the God of the entire universe --- sits in His home with open doors. The president is protected from his people, while God welcomes His.
It’s strange to think about their differing leadership styles: one preaches from a podium, while Another sits at eye-level, inviting conversation. One seeks --- no, demands --- honor, while the Other asks only for love, and indeed gives more than He gets. In the quiet of the adoration chapel, God tells me so many things, and my heart hears and answers. Our president speaks often, and demands crowds and wide reporting of his every word, but it seems he cares not whether you hear or understand his words, but only that he gets what he wants --- a respect that he feels is due to him, and his office.
In the quiet here, the thought strikes me that the president is like the baby we sometimes hear crying in a church --- it is a disruption which must be quieted or taken outside. There are more important matters going on than his whines.
And so I also now quiet THESE thoughts and begin tonight’s conversation …
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While sitting here, I read a meditation on Matthew’s Gospel and the miracle of the loaves. I read: “He tells us to open our eyes and our hearts to those around us.” And I read a question in the reflections there: “Who do you want me to give myself to today, Lord?”
As our time together closes tonight, my thoughts went to my return flight from Arizona. Danny, a retired military man, was seated next to me, and he spoke to me: “After this plane takes off, I will move to that vacant seat across the aisle.” Fine, I thought, more room for both of us.
But before the flight took off, we spoke a bit further. Danny had served at Ft. Hood in Texas, where I did. He recently became caregiver of his wife’s mom, and he worried about all the things which he might have to do --- much like the worries I had when I first began caring for my mom. He talked about his current job at an automotive-related company, as was mine. And he talked about his life’s priorities, many of which were similar to mine.
I held in my hand the novel I had planned to read during the 4-hour flight. I never read a page. And Danny never moved to a new seat. The hours passed quickly in conversation, a most enjoyable trip.
Why even recall it now? I think that last question of the gospel meditation was answered for me then, even before I read the question tonight.
God works that way, if we let Him put His plans before ours.