I just had one of those profound experiences that leaves me...well...a little shaken or possibly a little more awakened. Angels? God? What is this power that surrounds us in the world? Do our ancestors and those that have “crossed over” come back to visit? To remind us? Yesterday was the anniversary of my co-worker Allyson’s death. She would have been thirty-five years old on Friday. Yesterday as I was standing in the lobby of the school reading the memorial plaque for Allyson, I turned my head and saw her walking toward me. It really took me off guard for a moment until I realized it was another young woman who attends the school. I have seen her before and each time I was shaken as I thought it was Allyson. Is it coincidence that I saw her at that exact moment yesterday?
I had a similar occurrence happen to me on Monday in nearly the same place when a woman I have never seen before walked by and caught my eye. It jolted me because I felt that I knew her. Then when I looked again - and she continued to hold my gaze - I realized she looked very similar to my friend, Dawn who died of cancer a couple of years ago…So, back to this morning’s moment. I had just finished doing some morning readings and was copying off a document I did not want to forget. My Bible tipped open and there was the bulletin from Dawn’s memorial service. There were those eyes looking into mine that I had looked into on Monday. Inside the bulletin I noticed the exact date of her death, March 2, Monday’s date.
The enormity and the mystery of these two events brings tears to my eyes. They remind me of how little I (we) know about the mystery of the universe. I am humbled and awed by this being/energy/person I call God. He is not tangible and of course He is. I cannot see Her face and yet I see it every day. I cannot feel those arms around me and yet they are here now. The mystery is astonishing. My journey has only begun and yet I feel like it has already lasted an eternity.
If I were to go looking for Allyson or Dawn today, I probably would not find them. Is that how it is with God? My prayer is that during this season of Lent (this season of life) I will at least make room and be open to the possibility that God will show up. The truth is that it usually happens in the most unexpected of places like standing in the lobby of a busy school or shuffling around in the papers on my bed. May I be open to the mystery today – and tomorrow – and always. May you too.
I am curious, of course…have you had similar experiences of the eternal? Where do you see the face of God? How and when do you feel the arms around you?
photos taken @ musee d'orsay 3.08