Sunday, October 2, 2016

Take Me to Church - Coming Home Day#2

A home-away-from-home is sometimes just as good as home itself.
A home-away-from-home can be a respite without responsibility.
As much as I love my home, when others gather there, I am host, chef, janitor and last call.
I most times have the heart of a servant, so it is always good when people are in our home.
Just every now and then I want to be the one cared for.

As I mentioned in the tag of yesterday's post, it has been an incredibly difficult year.  In some ways, the most difficult I have ever experienced.  Illness and the possibility of death pervaded our home, shrouded in darkness.  Often, it was hard to steer toward the light...or even see the light, for that matter.
We are coming out of the obscurity now but remnants of the gloom still surface at times. 

Throughout this time, I have leaned heavily on my home-away-from-home... precious church community.  
I was unable to attend church for several months but when I was able...
When my husband had the helm or our child was well enough to go, it was my saving grace.  
I have no shame when it comes to shedding tears, so there were times when I would sit silently in a pew, while the Word washed over me and healed me.  
(I'm sure everyone there thinks I'm a basket case.)
Other times, when I was not strong enough to join the congregation in prayer, I stared blankly ahead uttering a mantra, 
"Thank You for helping me.  Thank You for helping me. Thank You for helping me."  
Still other times, I threw my head back and my hands up and praised God in His goodness that every single life in our home was safe for the day.

No matter the circumstance that greeted me in that 1970's beige and brown sanctuary, however, the fact that I was home in God's presence was enough.  
It sustained me.

This past week as we continue to navigate this distressing season, I had some bad news delivered from one of my nearest and dearest.  
And as I often do, I followed my normal response schedule.
Shore the one up.
Make a phone call to my husband.
Spend the evening trying to distract myself while in disbelief.
Awake the next morning finally having processed the news and going to tears.
Texting every person who may be affected that I am here for them.
Lastly, telling my husband, "I don't think I can manage One. More. Thing."

Grace in my Other Home

Then Grace came thundering at me like a lightning bolt this morning as I entered the sacristy to review the reading I was to proclaim at Mass.  (I wish I could say that I prepare my reading for days, but I usually don't look it up until that morning.  Okay, an hour ahead...okay, 15 minutes before church starts.  Please don't judge me.)

I looked at my husband as I exited the altar before the service and said, "Really listen to the reading I'm proclaiming today.  You're not going to believe it."

And as Mass began, I started to praise Jesus in a whole new way because He alone knows my heart; knows what I need; knows when I'm about to give up.  The passage from Habakkuk read as follows:

"How long, O LORD? I cry for help
but you do not listen!
I cry out to you, “Violence!”
but you do not intervene.
Why do you let me see ruin;
why must I look at misery?
Destruction and violence are before me;
there is strife, and clamorous discord.
Then the LORD answered me and said:
Write down the vision clearly upon the tablets,
so that one can read it readily.
For the vision still has its time,
presses on to fulfillment, and will not disappoint;
if it delays, wait for it,
it will surely come, it will not be late.
The rash one has no integrity;
but the just one, because of his faith, shall live. 

                                                                           Habakkuk - 1:2-3; 2:2-4

How does He always know?  Of course, that is the Sacred Mystery of God.  
He knows all.  
Loves all.
Heals all.
I am grateful to be counted among His children.

So in the spirit of Habakkuk, his challenges along with his answers, I will spend part of this week writing the vision down clearly.  
Reading it daily.  
Reflecting on it. 
I know it will surely come.  
It will not be late.  

{Where is your home-away-from-home?
I'd love to hear.
Thank you for reading Day #2 
in the #write31days challenge.}

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