Life is sacramental in nature. It is holy from start to finish, because everything we do, and everything that surrounds us is meant to lead us to God. We often see this in the big and important moments, and once in a while, it seems the light from heaven peeks through. The typical cliche sunset that we know is cliche, and yet still grabs us. A grand vista, or the sudden notice of a flower reaching up from under the pavement. It all points to Him.
However, once we enter our little bubbles, our homes, cars and offices, we quickly lose sight of this monumental reality. It’s somehow harder to feel the majesty of the heavens and the sheer beauty of the stars when they are blocked by the ceiling you see all day every day. It’s hard to even notice.
Even more, it becomes challenging to see the grace that God has granted your life in the people He has filled your life with, because they become, well, normal.
As I was sitting down to write today, I had no idea what to say. I was having a bit of the writer’s block. As I looked down at my kitchen table, I saw this:
My kids were writing a “get well” card for their mother one day, and one daughter wrote so hard it dented the table. It was brand new at the time, but I just couldn’t get mad. It was too cute. Now, every time I sit down to dinner, ten years later, I look down and I see the scar of their love for their mother immortalized before me. It’s an unsightly blemish, but oddly, I have no desire for a new table, even though the legs are beginning to fall off this old thing. It is a reminder of them.
Knicks on the wall from where kids have bashed against it, glitter practically glued into the baseboards from art projects and makeup, the shape of the chair where my wife sits, the way our bed is depressed on one side because we only use half. My wife singing off key in the kitchen with her headphones on. We mark our world, it holds our memory.
What a shame it is that often, all we see is our own lack, instead of the beauty of regular life that shine ever so much greater than the stars we don’t look up to see. We get so caught up in laundry and chores and making a dollar that we don’t realize these are holy tasks, these are gifts from God to help us reach into heaven itself.
We are reaching towards the end of the Church year, and soon we will move into Advent with all its mad preparation for the celebration of our Lord’s incarnation. In this time we look towards the Last Things, and I suppose I will talk about that before too long. But it seems sad to look towards the Last Things when so many have a hard time seeing the PRESENT things. These little, present things are what help us look towards those Last Things.
The life we are gifted is full of grace and beauty, even in its often dark times.