This submit relies on Week Two of An Ignatian Prayer Adventure.
Cards from my mother and father ought to include a warning: “Proceed with caution.” It doesn’t matter the event—birthdays, Valentine’s Day, Halloween—the risk is at all times the identical.
But my daughters haven’t but internalized it.
“No!” I yell from throughout the room. The 4-yr-outdated, tearing into the envelope, doesn’t know what’s about to occur. All she’s considering is: This is from Nonni and Grandpa; it should be good.
Swoosh! Like a deluge of summer time rain, confetti spills onto the hardwood flooring. Black bats, purple witches, orange pumpkins, sparkles and glitter—it’s fairly the Halloween card.
And that seasonally acceptable confetti is now all over the place. Ground zero could have been the kitchen, however someway, I’m discovering witches and bats within the upstairs toilet and the basement playroom and even within the automotive. How did this get right here? How is it all over the place?
It’s enjoyable, although, these little surprises. Little bursts of pleasure. Silly little reminders of a celebratory second of gasps and smiles and eyerolls months after the actual fact.
Each time I discover one, the identical thought comes: Even right here. These little items of paper have discovered their approach even right here.
And each time, I get to determine: Will I let it deliver me pleasure? Or will I get irritated that there’s yet another factor misplaced, yet another factor to scrub up?
Even right here.
Those phrases make for a very good mantra as we mirror on the Ignatian precept that God is in all issues. These phrases mirror the truth of God, of God’s love, and of God’s want to thrill in all that we’re.
Even right here.
Even within the challenges of caring for an getting older mum or dad or elevating kids throughout a pandemic, God is right here.
Even within the heartache of loss and sacrifice and abandonment and failure, God is right here.
Even within the seemingly unimportant, mundane, nitty-gritty particulars of the day, God is right here.
God is within the grocery-retailer clerk and the closet of cleansing provides and the visitors jam and the undesirable e-mail and the bag of freshly floor espresso. Even right here.
But let’s be clear. These issues—locations and emotions, individuals and pets—aren’t gods. We aren’t proposing a apply of polytheism. Rather, we’re recognizing that our good God has made good issues and that God’s very self is within the material of our lives, of all that we see and assume and really feel. We’re declaring that the whole lot can and does categorical God’s love and nice want for us. We solely want eyes to see.
Yes, even right here.
And therein lies the selection. As you go in regards to the day, discovering these little items of confetti stragglers, do you acknowledge God current? And in that case, do you select to reply generously, graciously, and in love? Or do you shut in on your self, turning away from God and others?
Even right here—even on this second, in these phrases—God is current.
It’s not simple. That’s why the Examen is so essential. Too typically, we bought caught up in that nice swoosh of confetti; we shut our eyes, muddle by means of, and hope to make it to the opposite aspect. God is right here, we declare, however we stumble forward, unseeing. The Examen is that likelihood to cease, decelerate, and look again. It’s an opportunity to stroll fastidiously and prayerfully by means of our days and decide up these little items of confetti, study them, and uncover the place and the way God is at work and what God is revealing to us in consequence.
The pleasure with which my 4-yr-outdated rips open a chunk of mail from my mother and father is the way in which during which all of us may go to God. Rather than continuing with warning, we’d proceed with abandon, permitting our good God to throw confetti at us, celebrating all that we’re and all that we’re but to turn out to be.
And, in these drier, darker moments, we’d look on the ground, and relatively than forged about in despair, uncover that stray piece of God’s love, reminding us that God continues to be current.
Yes, even right here.
Photo by Toni Cuenca from Pexels.