DISCERNMENT

Do Not Waver

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Jesus said to them in reply, “Amen, I say to you, if you have faith and do not waver, not only will you do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ it will be done.   ~  Matthew 21: 21

 

          Like so many others, I too began to keep a journal to track my spiritual journey, starting it just after a horrific dream on the night of the 5th of July 2015 when I dreamt of something hitting and destroying the bright moon in the dark night sky. After the dream, I felt compelled to note down thoughts and messages and dates – and so I did, diligently, for a couple of years. Then, life got too much and writing in the journal slowed down. Still, there were entries for every year.

          Recently though, a beloved family member who has been journeying with me but who did not know of my journal, advised me to keep a record of all the things God has said to me. It gave me pause since my own thoughts had fallen along those same lines these recent weeks: that the journal needed to be re-started. So much is happening that I often feel as if our family is walking treacherous paths, blind, save for the light of our faith. Just when I think we are safe, the ground gives way beneath us, rocks are aimed at us. At such times, I often forget how my husband and I were led to do this, mist clouding the memory of the weave of events experienced and words heard in our spirits that have led us to these moments in where in the dark we must walk.

          Today was one such day. Although I am firm in the massive decision my husband and I have made together, suddenly, I could not recall defining moments that have led to this resolve – and that worried me. Were we wrong? So, from the still and silent hours of late last night when the terrain dipped to another level of tension, I have been seeking God’s voice and His alone. I am doing this for you, Lord, I whispered. But help me remember why. Tell me if I’ve read the signs wrong.

          In the early hours of this sombre and still, grey morning, I went to place my seeking into the Heart of Jesus. Going to the Shrine of the Divine Mercy in Krakow, Poland via livestream, I pleaded once more, Tell me if I am wrong, Lord. Let me hear Thy voice.

          A short while later, the opening lines of a much loved song, prophetic for us in the past, were seemingly cupped in small hands and placed in my inner ears. From the song, Well Done, by the Afters, the lines given to me were,

Well done, well done
My good and faithful one

          Tears sprang to my eyes. I remembered the night I had first heard this song 3 years ago. It had been a time of deep anxiety and of looking up to the sky for signs. Shortly after, dawn had broken for us and the joy was indescribable. Now, hearing those lines once more, suddenly, I felt a gentle urge to look up all the lyrics to this song.

          As I searched, I came across the verse that birthed the song,

 

His master said to him, ‘Well done, My good and faithful servant.   ~  Matthew 25: 21
          
          Wanting to look up the context of the verse, I was instead led to Matthew 21. Realising my slip, I made to return to Matthew 25, but it felt as if Someone had reached out and held my arm to keep me from going back. So, I went back to Matthew 21, a quiet certainty within me that I was meant to be there.
 
          And so it was. Before me appeared,
 

Jesus said to them in reply, “Amen, I say to you, if you have faith and do not waver, not only will you do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ it will be done.   ~  Matthew 21: 21

 
          As I read it, 3 words from the verse lit up with a strong yet quiet light.
 
          I realised it was God speaking to me. And He said,
 
Do not waver

 

 

 

Be at Peace

Be At Peace

One day, as I was yearning to receive Our Lord, I said to Him: “Teach me what Thou wouldst have me to say to thee.” Nothing but these words: ‘My God, my only Good and my All, Thou art wholly mine, and I am wholly Thine.’ They will preserve thee from all kinds of temptations, will supply for all the acts thou wouldst make, and serve as preparation for all thy actions.’   ~  The Lord, to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

          I’ve been mulling doing something new for some time now. It’s a major decision and fills me with more dread than hope or excitement because it’s been so long since I’ve done something like this. I’m afraid it will end up a mistake and that I will have to deal with the fallout.

          Plus, my husband wasn’t on board with it. He felt it would be too stressful. He didn’t see why I needed to. Only now learning to leave busy streets to walk in meadows, would this decision take me right back to the point I must never return to?

          I never do anything without my husband’s support, more so for something as huge as this. Nonetheless, while I understood and shared his misgivings, there was no concealing the hurt that he wasn’t giving me his support. I would have welcomed him by my side, examining our options together. If it wasn’t right, then, I knew I would shut the door and get on with life. In dismissing my asking, once again, I felt as if I always had to be the one to make the greater sacrifice. I don’t think I’ve ever held him back from anything. Instead, if there ever was something he wanted, even if I had reservations, I always gave him the freedom to go for it. Yet, now, when I needed it most, I found myself alone by the gate. 

          In the past, having come up against such a wall, I’d have retreated. However, this time, something just wouldn’t let go. I found my thoughts returning to this decision over and over again.

The time for work is over

          Still, in trying to discern from afar, I didn’t get anywhere. So, last Sunday, I pushed open my gate and ventured out a little. I told my husband that I had registered for a virtual session and went in with fingers crossed. There were a number of ‘rooms’  before me and suddenly I felt so small staring up at at them for they seemed like towers to me. Everything about the experience seemed so foreign, so different from all I’ve known. I would have immediately left had it not been for a very persistent friend rooting for me from the sidelines. For his sake, I stayed on, if only to be able to go back to him and at least say that I tried. Still, there was no denying how lost I felt in this new world, huge and shot through with noise. Maybe my husband was right after all, why did I need this?

          Wandering around, I saw a door. Against my friend’s advice to try a different door, I turned this knob and stole in. Almost immediately, I saw something that caught me. Something I hadn’t expected, something that indicated that this might work after all. But I had questions and sought answers for them. The few unseen people I interacted with were polite but offered little by way of the specific encouragement I needed.

          At that point, my home was calling out to me. I wasn’t even physically visiting this particular place, yet, I was beginning to feel overwhelmed. So, just a few hours in, I felt I had enough and retreated home. Perhaps this was a sign that this path wasn’t for me.

          Late that night, I looked down and in my palm was a tiny flower from that room. It had followed me home. As if to say, Don’t give up just yet. 

          That night, I struggled to fall asleep. The fear of doing something new beat hard at me. That I would be doing something for myself after all these years worsened it. And going ahead without my husband’s backing was the hardest blow of all.

          Needing comfort, I called upon St. Anne, the grandmother of Jesus, and asked her to hold me. As I lay my heart against her, I told her I didn’t want anything to come before my husband or children, no matter how enticing it was. And then, I asked St. Anne to help me retreat from this venture. To give me the words for my friend who was hoping I’d do it. To retreat – but with no regret nor rancour.

          I fell asleep and awakened pretty early the next day, unusually fresh and alert. I put in some work but also spent a lot of happy time with my children. All through the day, sun-warmed westerly winds blew against the old windchimes hanging just outside our living room. The cheery lilt of the chimes was a gentle caress, just like the laughter and happy chatter of my kids, loving arms about my heart. Sinking deep into that joy, I gave myself up to it. 

          Soon, no trace of apprehension stained its mark upon me. I was filled with a deep quiet.

And with that quiet, came an unexpected nudge.

          My husband was home from work and I found myself telling him of what I had discovered during that virtual session I had attended on Sunday. It wasn’t with the intention of getting him to change his mind; he was my best friend and I never kept things from him for long.

          This time, I found a very different person before me, attentive and wanting to understand where I was coming from and where I wanted to go with this. Stunned at his change, it helped me to hold nothing back from him, not even my own fears and doubts. At the end of it, he even accepted it and encouraged me to explore my options.

At that, my heart swelled even more with that strange inner quiet.

          Armed with a new, silent confidence, I went back and did some searching, then, made some enquiries. And all through, my heart was at peace. It was basically the same journey of Sunday, and yet it couldn’t have been more different. I took the first polite rejection calmly and went on to knock on another door.

Past midnight on the 1st of June, I got some answers.

Something had been set in motion.

          My discernment is far from over. I still have a ways to go. What lies where the road dips out of sight? Will I go on and take the plunge, will I turn back? Will this journey of discernment be all there is to this experience?

          Give me a sign, I ask Jesus. In reply, He sets before me all the stages of my journey thus far, one by one. My lack of confidence. My nervousness at venturing into new lands. The shame of how little I actually know about anything.

Am I a fool to leave newfound grazing ground to head for the mountains once more?

          Give me another sign, I ask Jesus again. But I sense the time for asking is passing.

          Give me one last sign.

         Jesus’ reply is one I do not anticipate.

Be at peace, He says.

 

Lent 19 ~ Let Me See

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Open my eyes to see clearly

the wonders of Your law.

I am a sojourner in the land;

My soul clings to the dust;

give me life in accord with Your word.

My soul is depressed;

lift me up according to Your word.   ~  Psalm 119: 18, 19, 25, 28

          Today work reached in and wiped out everything I had in me, right down to the inner cellars where reserves of strength and hope are stored. Restlessly, I roamed, going from window to window, trying to see something in the skies, in the garden, that would lift and dissipate this dull deadness within. I know what brought this on – skimpy sleep and work overload. I had nobody to blame but myself.

          As the hot evening winds gusted insistently about the house against a lowering yellow sun, I washed the car and scrubbed floors even as I leaned my heart against the words of the unruly winds, trying to make out what they were saying, if any of it was for me. But I was wound too tight, and nothing got past the doors of my heart.

          Still, you don’t go through 18 days of Lent and not learn something. The harder it gets, the harder you must love. Someone I know is in terrible need. I’ve known something of this kind of worry. It slips deep, snaking its fear through you, rendering you deaf and blind.

It must be prayed against.

          Before long, the prayers gentle. Whether due to physical exertion or the moment of need passing, I cannot tell. I hope it is the latter. I don’t want my friend to suffer this fear.

          But the tired lifelessness remains.

My soul is depressed

          Lift me up according to Your word

          I cannot go on, Lord, I just cannot. We need some news, Lord, a sun to lift the spirit from this strange bed it’s lying on. Tell me my prayer, Lord. Tell me what to pray for. From morn, I have asked this, to no avail. It is night now and the winds have gone back to their lands. There is still work to be done, it never ends, just never ends. I poke at it listlessly, labouring over a simple report, but my heart now rests deep in family, in thanksgiving of past miracles.

          It is then that I hear it, the prayer for the day.

          Let me see.

Lent 1 ~ The Angel’s Lent

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          My Lent direction came a little early this year – only it took me some time to realise it and to reconcile myself to it. One bright blue Sunday morning, as the winds sang aria after aria around our old home, my eldest son did something he doesn’t normally do – and certainly not on a Sunday. He began to clean his room. And one of the things he cleaned was his tiny St. Michael figurine I had bought him years before. With characteristic tenderness, he held the figurine and probed its contours with a damp cotton bud. I smiled and left him to it.

          It was late in the evening, much of the day run its course, when I had some time to my thoughts. From my seat in the living room, I gazed outside at the sun~warmed evening, winds stirring strong the leaves on the trees. Watching those breezes, I felt them lay something by the door of my heart.

The St. Michael’s Lent prayers

          And a stillness stole into my heart. It was the second time the prayers had come by this week. The second time accompanied by these unusual winds, singing and singing hymns only the angels knew the words to. Each time the winds came upon me, I would tilt my face towards them and silently ask the same question,

Is it you, St. Michael?

          For some years ago, St. Michael had taught me that when the winds blow strong and  a quiet comes upon my spirit, that would be the sign of his angelic presence.

          In reply to my asking, I almost felt his quiet yet strong affirmation borne by those winds as they brushed against my heart. So, it was him. And he was asking that I say those Lent prayers again.

          Still, I hung back. It was only 3 years ago that I had become acquainted with the St. Michael’s Lent prayers. Both times, they had come during deep personal strife, my anchor in the storm of pain. They were indeed prayers for when the whip and lash of the storm is great.

Battle

          That very word had resounded several times to me as January quietly folded her heart and passed her life to February.

Battle

Battle

Battle

          Now, both the word and the prayer formed side by side before me. It should have sufficed. And yet, my heart sought a final confirmation – because the St. Michael prayers is no simple undertaking. To be said for 40 days, they were for me by far the most demanding of prayers. Coupled with their significance of being battle prayers, prayed when in deep suffering, I was more than a little reluctant. I wanted peace. I was tired of fighting.

          At that very moment, my son came into the living room. Quietly, he placed something on the hall cabinet. Daddy will mend it, he said. Turning away from the waning evening marking the skies with its final pinks and tangerines for the day, I saw my son’s tiny St. Michael figurine on the cabinet top. Its sword had detached.

The St. Michael’s Lent prayers are also known as the Sword of St. Michael.

          Just like that, it was enough for me.

          My Lenten devotions this year is to be the St. Michael’s Lent prayers – but begun on the very evening of my understanding and acceptance. My Lent is to be one of battle.

          This year, it will be one of healing too as I sense heaven ask for a decade of the Luminous Mysteries Rosary each day.

          As the sun rises from its slumber on Ash Wednesday morn, it rises more golden orange than ever before. My angel’s sign, tender reminder that he walks beside me.

          And so it begins, this Lent of 2021. The Angel’s Lent.

Winding Down

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          It has been a week like no other. Busy with work, I was at home on quarantine due to a non-close contact coming down with Covid, and trying not to get frustrated over my town’s bungling health system. Then, on Tuesday, I got the dreaded call. I had to be swabbed due to a truly close contact from work testing positive for Covid the previous week. At the testing centre, I stayed calm, not wanting to add to the inexperienced staff’s stress. One other colleague had no such concerns and raised a ruckus as we were all quarantine tagged for a second time.

          I drove home from the test, filled with noise inside of me, thinking about how another 10 days of quarantine was going to find its form. Since my town is on Enhanced Lockdown for 2 weeks and the rest of the country on Lockdown, there was no chance of travelling anywhere. But being quarantined at home meant not being able to even go out to town for grocery shopping. It meant relying on my husband to do it. I thought of the shopping list I had carefully written out for him just a few days back. One list that would keep us comfortable for a week – if not more.

          My husband had come home with a quarter of the items on that list – despite staying out far longer than I usually did. He is a very capable shopper but that day, he went into one store and that was it. No zipping around town for him. Clearly, he had none of my frenzy. And that told me just how the shopping for the next ten days of my quarantine was going to be. 

          Determined to pick my battles, I let that slide. We weren’t going to starve. And I was capable enough of making meals out of anything.

          Funny how such a tiny moment like that could set the tune for the rest of the days. The hours went forth from that little choice, falling into more mellowed lines, unmarked by any unnecessary hurry.

          It was into this slow hours that I realised that Lent would be upon us soon. Every Lent for years now, God has come to open a door, leading my spirit on a journey never taken before. But in order to discern, I have to still my spirit and ask – and listen.

What is my Lent to be, Lord?

          Today, something began to take form. The winds had been blowing for days now. Some of its words I understood, some I didn’t catch. Yet, slowly, understanding had begun to slip its arms around my heart.

Every message must be discerned.

And every discernment put to the test.

          Just as I was to go deeper, a dart was fired from outside. All the hundred plus members of my organization had to be swabbed for Covid now. No clear reason was given; we were just expected to obey or the Law would be invoked against us. Still, not wanting to have a swab up my nose or throat more times than necessary, I hastened to make some calls. After some conflicting information by the authorities, it was nevertheless settled that I had to be swabbed yet again, 4 days after the previous one, and despite testing negative for the virus.

          I decided quickly, hurriedly dressing and driving fast to the testing centre. I wanted to be there early and out before the rest of my noisy, garrulous lot descended. I wanted to get everything over and done with and return to my relatively orderly life.

          I was done in less than an hour. Reluctantly driving home along deserted roads, wanting so much to drive fast and drive long along familiar tree-lined routes, I went over the sudden change in the past hours. A calm and serene morning, blessed by gentle sunshine and tipsy birdsong. Then, a shot of confusion out of nowhere. The ensuing ruckus. Granted, I was not the only one affected; everyone was – in their own way. 

          But the personal timing of it set off some bells. Coming just as I was going to step inside this inner room, deepen my discernment, make out the path ahead, it was obvious to me someone or something didn’t want me leaning in to God. It wanted me frazzled and distracted, overly busy.

          Short weeks ago, just before life turned upside down, I saw the words, The Time for Work is Over. While I didn’t think it meant quitting my job, I sensed a hidden layer to the words – as I did an invitation to parse and to understand what it meant to me.

          Today, the mists part a little. I am going into a time when work will surely continue but must not be allowed to dominate. As with the background music that plays in a restaurant, that music has its purpose but it is not there to take over the dining experience. Likewise, this is something I need to learn to manage. To continue to work hard and honestly earn my wages, yet not allow it to cloud my vision nor mute my listening. 

          For the winds that continue to blow insistently have words hidden in their lows and swells. Only the quiet of winding down can reveal all.

Lamp of Nazareth

          Deep in the old trenches of work once more, God came today to steer my heart to His Light.

          For a long time, February had been the month of Lourdes for me, in remembrance of Our Lady of Lourdes and her apparitions there. So, through the days of February, I try to live my hours as close to Her as my fickle self possibly can. Yet, given that I am once again back in the thick, thorny thickets of work, I did wonder more than once if this work year would be any different. My two superiors were back at it again – casually loading up our schedules, blatantly defying lockdown regulations, secure in the confidence that enforcement officers would baulk at coming so far out here to the boondocks to check on us.

          Mere weeks into the new year, I am already as tired as before.

          But the start of 2021 has not been bone-dried out of its miracles for me. For the first time in such a long while, I have woken up each day and gone out to work with a little skip in my step. Despite the amount of work set before us each day, I have gone to it with much enthusiasm. This was only possible due to the Christmas miracle of joy and rest and sufficient quiet.

          Yet, my spirit yearns for more. Not so much for a reduced workload as much as for freedom from tyranny – for it is back in full force now.

          The Lord has come to me many times to say:

Tell My people how much I love them. Tell My people that they are not alone and that I am with them. Tell My people that My Holy Spirit provides power, grace and love each day of their lives. Tell them miracles are there for them every single day, but they must look for them. They must expect them; they must want to experience My love.   ~ Look for Miracles Every Day, Steve Greco, Catholic Stand 

          Since reading those words, I have been spurred to tug at God’s robes to ask for more miracles. Each time I asked for miracles, I also asked His forgiveness for the thanklessness in my heart, if anything was blinding me to the many flowers already in bloom in my life this year.

          And of course, even as I pray, I have a very clear idea of what shape and form my miracles should take. I am, as ever, ready to give God the helping hand He doesn’t need.

          Two days ago, Jesus sent His spirit to open my eyes. One of my superiors stopped by my table with an unsettling gleam in her eye and casually put forth a proposition for me to extend my already long working hours and conduct yet another programme. I don’t know whether it was because I was already up to my eyes in work at that moment or if it was due to something else – but a calm yet firm refusal immediately sprang to my lips even before I could think up counter arguments. What I could see of her face above her mask tightened, obviously angered that I had dared to defy and refuse and she quickly moved on to seek support elsewhere.

          Coming home after work, I slumped to the floor, very, very tired. Dinner needed to be cooked, the younger kids needed help with studies and the house needed some cleaning. The birds were noisily chirping their evening farewells as they lifted into skies painted in swells of pink and tangerine. Even as I heard them, their songs I could not seek. There was no time to rest; yet, it was also too difficult to get up and to get going.

          Suddenly, an unseen hand pushed to memory a dream I had of this same woman last year. Of her entering my bedroom and stealing my rest. It was then that I realised that this superior needed to be fought off.

          And that Someone had done it for me that day.

Miracle

          But that superior is never one to take a rebuff well, and too soon, I was slightly beset with anxiousness about what traps she’d lay out for me next.

          Nonetheless, God was already ahead. The next day brought a bout of energy and a slice of wily wisdom. Covid came a little too close and some colleagues had to give up their work time. With some maneuvering, I could take on a bit more, freeing me from the need for extended hours. That put me out of the crosshairs of that woman.

Another little miracle.

          Then came the next miracle. Due to a colleague coming down with Covid, we came under the very scrutiny my boss was hoping to evade. He was then forced to allow us to work on a schedule that blended on-site work with working from home. That gave me 2 beautiful days of working from the peace and quiet of my little nest.

          Today was my first day of working from home and it filled me with tufts of early spring sweetness. Despite being up till past 1 a.m. working on reports and plans, I rose early in glee of being home. It was into this rising dawn within me that God told me something that I had not known before.

That the month of February was also dedicated to the Holy Family.

          And with that, God gently lit the Lamp whose light I was to follow. In my fears over work-related reprisals and doubts over the validity of my resistance, when guilt shadows me, whispering I must do more, more, more, my heart must flee to Nazareth. Into the hearts of Three who lived hard days within the untroubled sweetness of the Divine Will.

          Today, as every little feathered friend sought the dawn sun hidden within fleecy skies, He taught me once more that even as others seek to set their yoke upon me, my heart must be resolutely illumined by the Lamp of Nazareth.

          In the quiet of its humility, courage and obedience, lived unwaveringly by a Mother, a Father and a Son.

Put Your Hand Into God’s

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          Since the passing days of Christmas, my heart has been searching for direction for my new year. My kids and their education challenges. My job, my husband’s. All the struggles pertaining to our jobs. The state of affairs in our country, the anguish and pain of the world – what is God’s will for us there?

How do I live out the days and months of this new year?

          Just after New Year, I was reading posts from other bloggers, on their Word for the Year. It got me wondering if I should give it a try too – and I did. Since my inner self has gone into complete silence once more, not a murmur from it, I availed myself of a Christian word generator.

          The first one yielded Comfort.

          The word didn’t reach out and… grab me. Quelling my slight disappointment, I thought I should shop elsewhere.

          I should have quit right there because the second one gave me wink. I’m not a winker, never have been and never will be. The only great winker in my life was my mother who always winked to let us know that she was lying to someone else, so that has pretty much coloured wink all wrong for me now. Christian word generator or not, I was quite sure God hadn’t picked out that word for me.

          Through the weave of days, past the joys of home and the upheavals of other lands, I kept prodding God,

What do You ask of me?

          Because I’m not the cruise-to-nowhere sort. I’d rather not be surprised. Cresting the hills of life, more often than not, I’ve come to things I’d rather not have journeyed towards. My idea of bravely accepting the unknown now is learning as much about what lies ahead as is willed so that I can condition and prepare myself for it. And that is why I trouble God an awful lot.

What do You ask of me?

          Today, I think I have my word for the year. It has come through a beautiful poem I learned about through an equally beautiful blog, It’s a Beautiful Life.

The Gate of the Year

And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:
“Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”
And he replied:
“Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God.
That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.”
So I went forth, and finding the Hand of God, trod gladly into the night.
And He led me towards the hills and the breaking of day in the lone East.

So heart be still:
What need our little life
Our human life to know,
If God hath comprehension?
In all the dizzy strife
Of things both high and low,
God hideth His intention.

God knows. His will
Is best. The stretch of years
Which wind ahead, so dim
To our imperfect vision,
Are clear to God. Our fears
Are premature; In Him,
All time hath full provision.

Then rest: until
God moves to lift the veil
From our impatient eyes,
When, as the sweeter features
Of Life’s stern face we hail,
Fair beyond all surmise
God’s thought around His creatures
Our mind shall fill.

 

Put your hand into the Hand of God.

          My word is trust. Hardly the earth-shaking revelation I was hoping for. A sigh escapes me – because I was hoping for some quick changes, good changes. Just enough to lift my spirit and spur my steps forwards. Trust intimates that the journey winds on for me, that what is in store may not be what I am hoping for – even if it is what is best for me.

          As I give myself a little shake to chin up and stand up, I spy something I missed earlier. The title of the post that mentioned the poem, The Gate of the Year. The post was titled: The New Year: Comfort Food for the Soul.

          Comfort. The first word I drew for 2021.

          Funnily, just like that, all the grey around Trust misted away. I felt the word dust a wee spot in my heart and settle in for the ride.

          As I gazed at this change in me, I almost felt Someone wink at me.

Lord of Sea and Sky

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          In the dark of the New Year morn, I awakened to an unseen voice sing this line within me,

I the Lord of sea and sky…

          There was unmistakable power in that still voice. Someone was asserting His power. Yet, there was no hint of pride nor of triumph. No smile of joy either. Instead, I sensed something else.

Seriousness.

And intent.

          Whenever I have such an experience, I trace the rest of the words of the song or hymn sung to me, to discern God’s will for me. And so, I did this time too.

          But the rest of the lyrics didn’t stir my spirit. Puzzled, I went back to the beginning.

I the Lord of sea and sky…

Again, that quiet power.

          Then, I became aware of the heavy rain pouring down outside. An unexpected change in the weather.

          Travelling to New Year Mass a little later, the rain almost blinding, we saw that little rivers had burst their banks, flooding the low-lying lands framing the highway. It had been happy and sunny just a week back on Christmas Day. How quickly things had changed.

I the Lord of sea and sky

          I pondered those words as we came upon damage to the road we were on. A portion to the side had given way, wrecked by the force of water from rain. The tiny, benign rivulet beside it was now a rushing, churning body of water. There hadn’t been much rain since last week so the speed at which the road had degraded was startling.

          It was a beautiful Mass and after that, more lovely hours followed. I treated myself to a new lippie and then, it was to the bookstore for books and stuff. We got everything we needed there quickly yet gently. Laughing and joking, we went off for lunch. Again, it was a simple yet happy time, the delicious food the icing on a sweet and tender day.

          It was then that one of our kids reminded us of a stop at an Apple store we had planned previously. I couldn’t believe how that had slipped our mind; we had talked so much about it before this. But there was nothing to be done now. We didn’t relish navigating city traffic back to that store. Besides, the weather wasn’t good, and we were a long way from home.

          Still in good cheer, we laughed off the missed stop and began the return journey home.

          Within an hour, the fast-moving traffic on the highway home had suddenly slowed. We discovered why soon enough: a big sinkhole had developed on the opposite side of the damage we had sighted earlier that morning. That entire section of the road was going to collapse soon. We were horrified but quickly thankful too that there was still some space available for vehicles to circumvent that damaged and dangerous portion and cross over safely. But even that bit was muddying and softening very quickly; it wasn’t going to hold out long enough. Collapse was imminent. Had we stopped at that Apple store, we would have arrived at this point hours later and be forced to make a very long detour to get home. Or get ourselves into something worse.

          Arriving at our town some time later, roadblocks were up: the highway was being closed to all northbound traffic. I felt so very sorry for those caught. It was New Year’s Day and many people needed that highway to travel to the city and out of state. I could only imagine the chaos and consternation. The rain didn’t help matters.

I the Lord of sea and sky

          Once home, I looked up the 2-week forecast. We were in for some unpleasant weather. A mad amount of rain. Wind. High waves. Sea and sky. Again, I was surprised. I had been regularly checking the forecasts and none of this had shown up before.

          Something had suddenly changed. Suddenly, I recalled something a woman had said weeks back.

The hour of change is upon us.

It hadn’t moved me then, but now I wondered if her spirit had been told something.

          Still, the weather the world over being what it is these days, nothing is certain. We might be in for crazy weather; we might not. In my country, at least, gone are the days when our hours generally obey forecasts.

I the Lord of sea and sky

          It’s unclear why God chose today to remind me of His sovereignty over sea and sky – the heavens and water. In my present state of peace and deep inner joy now, I am in a place I never want to leave. I am content to be here, content to rest and plumb the depths of quiet joy.

          I am not quite ready for anything else. But the still voice roused me this morning to tell me that something is ahead. Something of sky and of sea. And I need to be ready. Whether it is in prayer or preparation, be it earth shaking or even something as simple as stocking up on essentials a little more to tide us over uncertainties.

          My heart burrows deeper into its blanket of peace. Happy yet alert.

 

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