Everyday Spirituality

Posts tagged ‘memories’

Restless…Body, Mind, and Soul

This has been a difficult few days. Sitting…waiting…just “Be-ing” in the moment and yet at the same time feeling restless. Where is this restlessness coming from? I watch my friend tossing and turning in her hospital bed. She cannot get comfortable too many tubes too many interruptions… vital signs. Even the slightest move…even in slow motion takes every ounce of energy from her frail body. I try to help, but where do I place my hands to not cause her more discomfort?  Sometimes even the next breath takes all of her energy.

I look into her eyes. I feel her frustration and pain? I speak to her in gentle kind loving words…how is this? Is your head comfortable on the pillow? I gently bring the covers up around her shoulders…trying to keep out the cold air. She is so cold. I wish I could warm her with the very breath from my own body.

When I was little I remember having little ribbon streamers attached to the end of my bicycle handle bars. When you rode fast into the wind the streamers would blow and twirl around. It was so much fun!

We did not have air condition when I was little so a fan in every room was the norm. You could tie thin ribbons on the grill of the fan. Once you turned on the fan the ribbons would blow out from the grill and ripple in the wind.

I was just across the hall from my friend in her home. She has finally gone into a deep restful sleep. I am tossing and turning…restless… I cannot get into a comfortable position.

Then it happened; as my body settled down my mind entered into this restless state. Memories, but not like a movie or a scrapbook page. These memories came as ribbon streamers. Each ribbon a different color bearing the written account of a time we’ve had together. I could clearly see the printed words some larger than others…some written in bold type.  

The ribbons were blowing, swirling, dancing perhaps in my mind. Swirling as if some undetected source was generating a breeze in my head keeping the streamers in constant motion…restless…

Eventually we are both taken into sleep…taken away from our own uncomfortable restlessness of body and mind.

I wonder, if this restlessness is part of the dying process…is this restlessness a symptom of our resistance to surrender? Sleep became the salve for her restlessness and eventually for mine too.

St. Augustine says, “Our hearts are restless until they rest in God.”

I know in my heart that God has a plan…we just need to be patient within our restlessness…more than once Jesus calmed the restless waters…speaking words of peace…Be not afraid, for I am with you. The familiar music drifts into my heart”…I go before you always…”

How do you handle restlessness in your life?




The Empty Chair


This morning I entered this small room in the back of the chapel. I was touched by the sunshine streaming through the colored pieces of stained glass. Each piece of the colored glass combined together creating a beautiful scene of leaves…

This room is usually used as a space dedicated to reconciliation. A sacred place where one can enter to return to the holy grace of God. Most of the time sunshine is not pouring through these pieces of glass.

I wonder. If each person realized that chair had been gently painted with the colors of grace would they approach it differently? I wonder?

This is not an ordinary chair. It waits for you to be seated in the presence of God through the presence of the priest. It waits; already filled with the essence of grace. It waits just for you to come and be renewed with God’s love for you.

Another thought crossed my mind as I reflect on this empty chair painted in the colors of sunlight. What if after we die impressions of our goodness remained behind as washes of colored sunlight?

This chair is not empty. It only appears so at first glance. Look deeper. Look with new eyes. Look with your heart and surrender to peace.

This year, as you call to mind those who have gone before you to eternal rest, I invite you to see the colors they have left in your heart. Colors of who they were splashed as precious memories in your soul. Memories you can return to for comfort and joy.

If I could capture the beauty and love of my maternal grandmother in colored light it would be happy pastel colors imbued with simple joy. The blues of tenderness…the pinks of love…the yellows of laughter…the greens of faithfulness and so many more hues.

Are we not to be reflections of God’s love?

How does this empty color washed chair speak to you?

Let your reflections wash over this page…Please leave a comment to inspire those who come to read after you. Allow your essence to bless those around you.