St. Igatius holds that God is present is all of human existence. So God is revealed to us in the world and all that it holds. When my children lived here with me, I was conscious of seeing God everyday; somedays practically every hour.
I first became aware of it when my mother died. Suddenly, I heard her voice and saw her spirit in my daughter. It startled, then disturbed, then fascinated me to see my mother almost channeled in my daughter, who was such a different person than my mother. I saw it again when my father died and I began to see him in my sons and their cousins. My dad's very corny sense of humor surfaced in these hip, handsome young Gen X guys--a true contradiction. But this time I knew God was walking with his arm around me, in consolation. And after that, I could see God everywhere, but particularly in my children and the places they were and things they did.
Once the kids grew up and moved away, I didn't think of it so much then, but knew that God is present everywhere, always and by His grace, shows his face in the most exquisite places.
I saw God this past week in my friend Bre. She left her cushy job where she was well-liked and pampered to go to work for a non-profit agency for less money. She is now on the front lines of efforts to help the sick and the addicted, the homeless and the disenfranchised. Her huge beautiful heart has been plugged in and her eyes are wide with the people's plight. In those eyes, I see God.
I see God in my friend Jeanine, who gives countless hours to The Women and Children's Free Restaurant. Jeanine's daughter has struggled to be a whole person, healthy and productive; Jeanine has shown more patience with her in 21 years than I will ever show with all people in my entire life. I see God in Jeanine's brilliant smile and her compassion and love and faith that things will get better.
I saw God when I had lunch with my friend Jenny Rose, now in nursing school, who is wondering where her real destiny lies. She will perform valiant service to us all somehow; in exactly what capacity, God has not yet revealed. She has a pure and loving heart and is simple and uncomplicated. God smiles through her.
From time to time, I see the NFL MVP, Mark Rypien. Last week, he raised $157,000 for the local Boy Scouts, at breakfast. At breakfast. His generosity always speaks to me and God ignites the laugh of this giant with the paw-like hands.
I have been thinking about our friend, Kasey. Was a key employee with the county until he retired a year ago with the onset of Parkinson's, at age 45. He has two little girls at home. Kasey has been approved for a pacemaker in his brain and will have the procedure soon. God surely, surely lives in this gentle carpenter and teacher, who is such a good and beautiful man. Somehow, I see God's love in Kasey, too, but it's a painful love, that hurts when I let myself feel it fully. Is Kasey supposed to somehow give me courage and resolve? These days, he is stiff but walks in a blinding light.
And so, I am ill-equipped to respond with the appropriate gratitude. How is it that I can have so much, but be so little? I, too, have a unique mission; but it hasn't been revealed either. Maybe the journey IS my destiny. Jerusalem, my Jerusalem.
The 'Kan EWA
Monday, March 06, 2006
On The Road to Easter