Sunday, February 8, 2009

Simply Gift

I awoke at 12:30 pm yesterday. My afternoon held several pages in Julia Child's biography, one or two podcasts from the BBC on the anniversary of Cuba's revolution, and several multi-hour naps.

I was feeling less than fully myself, let me say. Coughing, mildly dizzy, definitely not up to complete par.

Today when I awoke I thought to head to my beloved 11:30 Mass. Getting there evidently took close to my every reserve. When I arrived, I was dizzy, and feeling a bit weak, and needed to sit quietly for a bit before anything else. Fortunately, there was no one in one of the side rooms so I sat on the couch for a bit, eyes closed, happily in a sun-beam...willing an even keel to return.

The Director of Religious Ed. came through to set up a little altar for the children's liturgy of the word. "Are you okay?" "Actually, I'm not feeling so great..." "Would you like some tea?" I nodded. "Come." She led me to the kitchenette, got me a mug of hot water, showed me the teabags, and said "If you'd like my office, you can use that. I won't be in the other room for another half hour if you'd like to stay there. Just leave the mug when you are done!" She went on about her busy morning.

I and my green chai went back into the West Room where I'd stashed my belongings. While I sipped, a mother and daughter came in to practice a song they were going to teach the other kids.

The DRE saw me again in about an hour. "You are better?" "Yes...thank you! I feel better." "You have color now! You were white-white-white before." And she went on about her busy morning.

This simple, efficient, attentive, act of noticing touched me deeply, for some reason. There was no fuss, there was no big deal made. It was someone noticing and reaching out in kindness on her own with something she thought might make me feel better. I was left on my own, kindness bestowed, but I was not forgotten.

There's a song we sing fairly often that includes the line "Will you let me be your servant, let me be as Christ to you?"

I did this morning. And it felt pretty wonderful.

There's a lesson there, I think. The question I ponder is what it might be.

Is it how to recognize the authentic? How to let someone help? How to trust that they can? How to believe that yes, there are moments when you can let go and not worry? That it really is okay to leave your tea mug on the table and not return it to the kitchenette to wash it and put it away in the cupboard?

Whatever the lesson might be, it is worthy of time and contemplation. Perhaps over peppermint this time...with a little honey and a shot of milk. Turns out like a Pep-o-mint lifesaver... Hm, lifesaver. Funny, that.

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