Tuesday, March 1, 2011

True Colors Shining Through

I admit, I am not an assiduous pray-er these days. I do plan to remedy that, but sometimes it also seems that God takes the initiative in the most gentle of ways. Like last week, for example.

This photo doesn't do it justice.
I was standing in the doorway of our little house, watching the way the sunlight graces the green leaves and purple blossoms of our bougainvillea tree. Depending on the angle, the light paints the surfaces of the leaves in white, or it lights them up from within so that they glow an emerald green. The blossoms become delicate, radiant amethysts.

It's such an ordinary sight that most days I don't really notice it. But for some reason, that day held a touch of God. I was just standing there, holding the baby, while a sense of quiet enveloped me, a stillness that blossomed from within. Within that halo of silence, I felt as if I were also being held in God's arms, temporarily lifted above the usual rhythm of life.

That was when the thought occurred to me that the glowing jewels before me were an image of how God transfigures my life... and how little I notice it.

We take-- I take-- a lot of things in life at face value, as facts. A fact is something inert, like a piece of furniture. But when I step back and look again, I see there are so many things in my life that rise above the status of facts; they are gifts. Standing in a doorway holding a baby-- that's not a fact, it's a gift. My husband walking through the front gate-- another gift, an answer to a prayer.

Now that I have what my heart most desired-- a wonderful husband and our first baby--it could be easy to just forge full steam ahead, relishing the present without looking back. But moments like this are like gentle reminders that I once prayed and prayed in front of the Blessed Sacrament for these gifts, and when the time was right, God gave them. They glow with the light of the giver's love.

If I prayed more often, maybe I would have the refined vision to see more of the translucence of a life imbued with divine gifts. I would also have the eyes to see unanswered prayers, even tragedies, as events pregnant with meaning in the shadow of the cross. If I prayed more, I would enter more frequently into the richness of quiet where the world falls away and we hear another heartbeat. Praying more would give a wider wingspan to my remembrance; it would nourish the kind of biblical memory that forgets not the personal times of exile, the years when "we hung up our harps by the rivers of Babylon and wept." Remembering those times makes the present gifts so much more meaningful; our small personal odysseys from longing to fulfillment somehow presage the much bigger odyssey that we are all on right now.

So, there are these reminders-- gentle ones, like the friend who touches your shoulder to remind you that he is here, that he has never stopped walking by your side.

Thank you, my friend! I see your true colors shining through.


Theresa said...

BEAUTIFUL! Thank you. Aren't the details amazing? The little things....exquisite.
Thank you for sharing.

Susan said...

Trish, this was so beautiful!! Thank you!! How does Oprah not know about you? she knows all the best authors ;)

imcarlbrown said...

you are a talented writer!

Fr Matthew Green said...

Thank you for sharing these thoughts and experiences with us.
And, "ditto" what the other comments say!

Trish Bailey de Arceo said...

Thank you! :o)