Have you ever sat alone in an empty church before? It used to creep me out for some reason. I think I thought all the saints were looking at me. Now I find it very peaceful – highly recommend.
Anyway, I found myself alone in the Union Street church this week, and I got to thinking about how my Lent is going so far. I’m doing a lot of things, but I’m kinda floating along in them. You know what I mean? Like I do them, cross them off the list and move on to the next thing. Not much is really sinking in. I’m not giving them a chance because I don’t make the time.
Once that starts to happen (and I’m hoping I’m not alone here), I get punchy. I’m less tolerant, less patient with people. I go to bed at night, look back on the day and it’s a blur. I do have multiple moments of grace. I just need to pause more and allow these moments to come in and move me.
That’s when I noticed the St. Kateri Tekakwitha portrait that I attached in this blog entry. Look at the scene. Look how lovingly and freely St. Kateri is giving a little wooden cross to a child. It’s so simple, so small. It’s not very much, and it’s all she can do, but she gives it openly and with great joy. She gives the cross kneeling next to the child; she sees herself as an equal. A young boy watches on, enamored by what is happening in front of him. He seems to be in awe of it. He draws us into the story. The girl receiving the cross looks happy and grateful. Her hands point at herself as if to say, “Is that for me? Do I get to have that? Do I get to know Christ and His love for me?” And St. Kateri, in her loving gaze, seems to say, “Oh yes, little one.”
This may have been only a blip in St. Kateri’s day. She probably quickly went on to something else after that. She might not even remember having done it later in the day. Or known that something BIG happened inside that little girl because of this one, small gesture.
It was like St. Kateri was trying to tell me something. Take the time. Be in those moments. Allow the grace. It might be a chance for Christ’s love to shine out, and that would be a shame to miss.
So thanks, St. Kateri Tekakwitha, and I look forward to keeping my eyes and heart more open for the rest of Lent. Who knows what I will notice, but I bet it will be good. I hope you get to notice small moments of grace in your busy days too. And maybe spend some time chillin’ with our patron saint.