Tuesday, May 2, 2017

first Tuesdays

I attend monthly lectures on spirituality put on by the Loyola Institute for Ministry and hosted at the Church of the Immaculate Conception, one of the most beautiful and holy spaces I've ever experienced. I've heard some really powerful thoughts from people of all faiths over the past few years, and I enjoy the fellowship and perspective it gives me in the middle of my work day.

At the end of today's lecture, the Ignatian priest asked us, "When did you feel God today? Where have you seen God in your life today?"

Admittedly, I have not been much focused on today. I had a huge Board meeting yesterday, and tomorrow is my stepdaughter's birthday. I had 13 Board packets and a testimony to prepare yesterday; I have 29 people dining in my home tomorrow.

So I hadn't given much thought to today. I got through emails and text messages this morning. I made myself breakfast and drank lots of water. I got makeup on. I got to my lecture on time, walking by new construction in the Quarter to see how it was going.

I honestly didn't find much about the conversation today compelling until the priest posed those two questions. And then, suddenly, today started to mean something more than GiveNOLA Day. It meant more than a gateway from yesterday's challenges to tomorrow's celebration.

I have not felt God in this damn cold that won't quit me or Beau. I definitely don't see God when I look at our mountains of used Kleenex. And I'm not sure where God fits in to this scenario, but we haven't kissed on the mouth in days.

But I feel God every morning I get to wake up beside the person I love most in this world. I see Her in the sunshine and low humidity of early May. I feel Him in my ability to walk to my meetings.

I see God in the police officers I communicate with almost daily, as they try to protect our community... but I don't see Her when I hear about the rape of a mentally incapacitated woman.

I tried to help a friend see God in me by stealing her away for afternoon coffee and listening to her cry. I try to show God to others in the way that I laugh and forgive and connect... even if that means tracking down RSVPs at the last minute.

I did not feel God in the two giant spills/messes I made tonight or when I snapped at my husband for something really dumb or when I blew my nose for the 87th time today... but I think She was there for dinner on our back patio, surrounded by our garden at sunset.

I see God in my stepdaughter: her sheer joy, her solitude, her empathy.

And I will make a more conscientious effort to feel and see God in my every day, in the mundane, in the work and the blessings and the laughter, in the low grade fevers and the perspective of strangers, in the tears I've been entrusted to witness, and in the patience and grace my husband grants us.

The sun rises, and the sun sets. It's up to us to be honest with ourselves about how we can love our neighbors best, one day and one moment at a time.