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Watching and Wondering

March 9, 2022

These past few days I have been helping Denise in her continuing journey sorting through papers, possessions, and personal items that belonged to her parents. Her mom died in March, 2018 and her dad died in September, 2021. It has been a long journey through many Valleys of the Shadows. This week we hit a milestone of sorts as we finished loading the 26 foot UHaul truck with furnishings to be delivered to Central Presbyterian (Denise’s church in Mobile, AL) Church’s homeless transitional outreach. As homeless clients begin the transition from the shelters and streets to a home of their own, hopefully they will benefit from the gift/legacy of her parents.

Is this work exhausting? At times it is… especially when I am reminded that my 61 year old self isn’t quite as physically flexible as that young Padre was so many years ago in the military! However, this opportunity has given me an opportunity to reflect on what is important in life versus what I think is important.

One of the duties of a younger monk at the Abbey of Our Lady of Gethsemani in Kentucky was to keep watch at night while the other monks slept. As the name implies, the monk on duty made his rounds to ensure that all was safe and well within the Abbey itself and the surrounding area. On the particular night when he wrote the piece “The Fire Watch” he was in a reflective mood in much the same way as I have found myself contemplating these last few days/weeks/months.

The things I thought were so important—because of the effort I put into them—have turned out to be of small value. And the things I never thought about, the things I was never able either to measure or to expect, were the things that mattered. (July 4, 1952 – “The Fire Watch” in the epilogue of his book, The Sign of Jonas)

There is much to ponder in each of our lives dear reader. My prayer is that we recognize the opportunities to simply be still, watch, and listen to what the Spirit is saying to us.

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