Sunday, December 14, 2014

creating a space

Often in the mornings, I stick around after Mass.  There is really no point in going back home (and leaving again in 5 minutes), and I don't want to be too early for work.  So I soak in 15 or 20 or 25 minutes of quiet time and life is good.  The priest finishes up what he needs to do to get ready for the next Mass, and then he turns off the lights - except for the one where I hang out - locks the doors, and leaves me in peace.

Sometimes I drift over the alcove where the Blessed Mother's statue is.  We talk about mom things or husbands.  There are candles in her alcove, and it bothers me when there are some that are burnt out, so I will take those out and replace them with fresh ones and then all seems right in the world.  Occasionally, I come across one which has started to burn and then fizzled.  I will indulge my inner pyro and relight it...sometimes it takes a little bit of persistence, but I usually get it.  Prayers go along with those burning candles, so I figure maybe those prayers needed to be stretched out for a while longer and I'll add my prayers for whatever intention they were lit for.

A couple of weeks back, though, I came upon a candle that was a challenge.  It was filled to the very top with wax, and the wick didn't have a chance.  It reminded me of us sometimes.  We are so filled with all kinds of useful and good things - husbands, children, work, church activities - that we don't have a chance.  The candle had every thing it needed in order to be a fully-functioning candle (wax and a wick), it was just too full.  During this season of Advent - or what remains of it - give yourself some space, preferably a quiet space and see if that doesn't help your light shine more brightly in the darkness.

Related side note:  One of our church people had a stroke last year about this time and now lives in a nursing home nearby, but is still pretty functional.  At Bible study a few weeks ago, he had asked me if I'd give him a ride to the church gumbo which was last Sunday after the 10:30 Mass.  I'd agreed.  I called him on Saturday to see what time he wanted to be picked up (I'm thinking 10:30...11:00.)  "Well I want to go to 8:30 Mass," he said, "so you can pick me up at 7:30." I must have stuttered a little bit, and I'd already left a voicemail  suggesting 10:30 or 11, but I agreed to 7:30.  He called me back a few hours later and left a voicemail saying 11:00 would be fine, and after having had some time to think about it, I called him back and told him I would be there at 7:30.

He was waiting with his walker outside the facility the next morning when I got there (in the vicinity of 7:30).  He showed me how it folded up, I threw it in the back, and we were off.  There was only one other person in the church when we got there, and the air conditioning must have been set on "morgue", but in an otherwise non-stop, crazy weekend, it was wonderful to have that quiet space before Mass started, and I appreciated that God had arranged for me to have it.