In the morning, in my quiet time, images come to my mind, and texts from the Bible, as I lay out before God the concerns of my heart, like laying out handkerchiefs on the table from a basket of clean laundry fetched in from the line; smoothing them, looking at them.
And today, when I had prayed for you, and especially for those ones of you recently bereaved, or working through a broken relationship, or anxious about money, and when I had prayed for my family – the whole sprawling, rag-tag tribe – I lifted into the light of God’s countenance the work I have in hand. Two funerals in the next week or so. Magazine articles. A set of Bible studies for later this spring. Quiet days and a retreat weekend. A novel to complete. I laid them out in the sight of God, smoothing them flat, and explained to the divine Mystery how important it is to me to do work of the highest standard. I explained that for each of these projects, whether or not I am paid, there will be those who have invested money and time, who will come with hope and expectation. I don’t want them to be disappointed. I want them to find something that comforts and nourishes them, feeds and encourages them. And I asked, please, may that be so. May I not let them down. May I do good work. May I offer them something worthwhile.
And the story of Cana-in-Galilee came to my mind – how they ran out of wine, and Jesus said to fill the jars with water and serve it up. So they did that in obedience; and when it was poured out it had become exquisite wine. The guests didn’t know where it came from, but the servants knew.
I felt happy then. That if I fill and refill the vessel of this wabi-sabi life with the ordinary water of stillness and quietness, and offer it to Jesus asking, “Master, will you help?” – then when it is poured out in the course of my duties, his touch will have made all the difference.