Mel's Healing Pilgrimage 2016

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Friday, December 7, 2018

Driving through the Rain

As I reflect this Advent, a period of waiting, a time of anticipation of life, beauty, light, a month of expectation and wonder, I remembered something that happened to me earlier this year. I shared it on Facebook on the Camino of Healing page back in May.
    I had an observation I made yesterday as I drove back from Lancaster to home. It was a tough morning full of emotions because of the upheaval with work, and I needed to feel God, feel beauty, feel uplifted.

    So I went over Angeles Crest highway. I forgot that since it was rainy in Pasadena, it would be socked in up on the mountain. I barely drove 20mph at some points. And instead of seeing gorgeous valleys and mountains, I just saw rain and fog. Just a blurry hazy fog.

    And yet...

    I pulled over a couple times and looked around.

    Nothing but fog.

    And still yet...

    I felt the beauty.
    I felt God’s presence.
    It was there all around me
    Behind the fog, but there nonetheless.
    I couldn’t see it.
    But I felt it
    It was powerful
    and I never felt alone.
I realize that this revelation happens to me more often than I acknowledge to myself. I can stumble upon the beauty of God despite the circumstances around me. When I'm in stressful moments, confusing moments, angry moments, tearful moments, fearful moments, I find that I've been driving through a mental fog without pause, seeing nothing but rain, seeing none of the beauty I so deeply desire.

But if I pause, if I pull over, if I step out and look around deep... If I wait... If I listen... If I let go...

There. I feel it. I feel the beauty. I feel God's presence on that granite mountain. It's always been there. I just wasn't seeing or hearing it.

Now during Advent, when we wait for Jesus to come, I know that God has been around us throughout our lives. But we forget. We march on. We watch someone fall down, we watch ourselves fall down, and yet move on. But God was there, pausing to tend to the one on the ground. Asking us to wait with them. To listen. To let go.

So we humans need reminders. We need to be sent a little baby to show that Love can be incarnate, be in us, be among us. We need reminders to look and listen and let go.

I realized that might be why I find joy in doing things like Laundry Love and setting up furniture for the homeless shelter. It's because it forces me to physically pause. To wait. To listen. Those are sacramental moments to me, revealing, like the Eucharist does, God's presence to me.

Others more centered than me may have other ways to pause and listen. Please share them. For me, I wake up every day with the hope that I'll actually be awake every day. And if I can be awake, and stay awake, then the wait becomes immaterial, for I feel the healing arms of Love sweep over me like a cloud going over a granite mountain.

May your Advent reflections help you rise above the fog of this time of year, so that you can see the Love that heals in our midst.

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