Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Seeing Stars

I think I'm smoothing lotion over hands and realize I am tugging, pulling, wrenching hand in hand. I'm reminded of the Doctor in Macbeth, who questions of Lady Macbeth, "What is it she does now? Look how she rubs her hands."

It has been a long day; the children have been sick over a week now, and Oliver has been experiencing some complications in his kidneys again. Tommy had an allergic reaction to the Tylenol, and teenagers come and go-so hard to keep up with. My mind goes back again and again to those poor souls in Japan and their amazing bravery and solidarity. Yes, that's the word: solidarity.

Word Etymology has always fascinated me, and I discovered an interesting article in Wikipedia about where the words "solid" and "solidarity" originated. Here is an excerpt of that article:

"The solidus (the Latin word for solid) was originally a gold coin issued by the Romans, and a weight measure for gold more generally, corresponding to 4.5 grams...The solidus was maintained essentially unaltered in weight and purity until the 10th century...The word soldier is ultimately derived from solidus, referring to the solidi with which soldiers were paid."

It always seems to come down to money...

I remember reading once that a cross should be worn around the neck not merely as a decoration but as a symbol of solidarity with Christ. I decided I would start wearing my cross for Lent, and it's amazing how much having it around my neck has helped me in times of temptation. It just serves as a visual and tactile reminder that as a follower of Christ, I must be one with his purposes, and "take up my cross" each moment.

Thoughts are like stars, and when we connect those thoughts, a constellation is illuminated in the mind. Here are a few of the stars flickering in my brain right now:

*I look at a band aid wrapper and see the Spanish word, sin, which in English means "without." It dawns on me that that is exactly what sin is...being without God. When I sin, I am choosing to do something without God- out of his bounds, out of his heart.

**.St Benedict said that we all need to find space for God. His fitting phrase for this was:  "vacare Deo," literally vacating, or making empty for God.

*** Boethius described the wise person as one who savors everything as it really is : "Sapiens est cui omnia sapiunt sictui sunt."

On the way home from taking Oliver to the Doctor, we pulled to the side of the road for a funeral procession. Car after car, filled with loved ones streamed down the road. I thought about time being so fleeting and how it always eludes me most when I'm trying to live in the moment. For Lent, that's a good reminder: The moment. It's all I have. My prayer is that I can sanctify these moments, these specks of time, and make them eternal.