I hear Grandpa Fritz but it can’t be. He died six years ago. The voice coming from the aisle in the men’s clothing section of J.C. Penny’s department store brought Grandpa with it. I recognized his distinctive qualities. Curious, I peered around the corner of my aisle. No Grandpa. Someone else. I was not surprised. However, I was fascinated and followed the voice and its owner up and down several aisles just to hear it, to hear Grandpa.
As I walk the aisles of my daily life, various sights, sounds and smells meet me. Some bring me blessings that I notice. Others go undetected.
- Aromas are coming from the kitchen. They draw me to anticipate soup for lunch and table talk with my Benedictine sisters. I am blessed with tasty food and companions.
- I hear someone singing Schubert’s “Ave Maria.” I felt my sister who died three years ago slip in beside me. She used to sing this song as one of her favorites. My heart stirs with love for her and I know she is loving me. I’m grateful for her while I wish she would be here as she used to be.
- The hoarfrost this morning met “ohs” and “ahs.” Thank you, God, for such delicate beauty. What a way to start the day—in personal and communal awe as several of us stand and look in wonder!
- My prayer and reading this morning centered on the words from Morning Prayer: “In the morning let me know your love, O God.” The words came back to me several times during the day. God, I give thanks for the assurance of your love. Please give me the courage to share your love with others, especially when I don’t want to.
Some experiences serve as hints of God’s presence, as glimmers of care. At times, the presence forcefully breaks into my distracted consciousness. It grabs my attention. Usually I don’t want to ignore or be deaf and blind to such encounters. I’m stopped, even momentarily, to notice and open to what they will give me and their invitations for response. I trust that these blessings are not for me only. I believe God’s blessings to and through me radiate to the rest of creation, even though I do not know the effects.
Encounters are disguised moments when God is acting through my human world and context. More and more I can learn to recognize and understand the voice of God and the language God is speaking. More and more I will be more able to follow God’s voice and what it tells me. I will become more committed to follow God’s voice in whatever aisle I’m walking.
Mary Reuter, OSB