Zac Harmon-McLaughlin of Walnut Creek, CA, USA
One of the scribes came near and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, he asked him, “Which commandment is the first of all?” Jesus answered, “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” -Mark 12:28-31
Ordinary Time gives us a gift. The gift is an opportunity to glimpse God. Do you know what a glimpse is? It isn’t seeing fully and it’s incomplete. It is a momentary awareness of something much bigger than you or I. Ordinary Time is an opportunity to glimpse the Kingdom of God-to become aware of God in our midst.
Recently, I found myself at the bedside of a dear friend nearing the end of her life. We held hands, shared in the sacrament of laying on of hands for the sick, and told stories. She even felt our child move in my wife’s womb and smiled with such joy.
We had been there for quite some time and realized it was time to allow her and the family to rest. Just as we were getting ready to leave, however, the door opened and more friends poured into the home. What happened next was one of those glimpse-of-God moments.
Guitars and drums played while songs were sung. We laughed and cried. We went around the circle sharing moments and experiences of deep love. We watched as the joy and pure present-ness of each one filled the room. We cried while we sang, not only because of sadness at the difficulty of this moment. We cried while we sang because the Kingdom of God had come near.
What happened in that room that night was nothing short of sacred worship. If I could go back in time, I would have taken my shoes off because we were standing on holy ground. God showed up and gave us an ordinary gift-a glimpse of a way of being together that changed everything.
Our friend passed away a few days after that visit. I will always hold that evening in my heart as one of the most profound experiences of my life. It was a glimpse of love, peace, hope, and belonging. Notice the ordinary moments of life. Those are the times that God shares with us life-changing glimpses of what is possible.
“Attention is the beginning of devotion” (Mary Oliver).
Spend a few moments paying attention, wherever you are. Notice your surroundings. What draws your focus? Look more closely at detail and color. Notice what pulls or prods within you. How is the God-in-all-things speaking to you through what you see and feel right here, right now?
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.