Friday, March 17, 2006

Time, Drudgery, Bocelli, Lent, and Mercy

I am 47 years old. For some reason, I find myself preoccupied often with the concept of time. If there only was a way in which one could freeze time, that would be wonderful. Oh, how I wish, rather nostalgically, that I could have frozen time when our daughters were little, say, at 3 and 6 years old, perhaps. What a precious time that was (although I did not have a clue how precious then).

My life sometimes feels rather rote. Same thing, each day; get up, pick up the paper, feed the dog, read the headlines (after finding my glasses), shower, shave, dress, drive kids to school, Starbucks stop, 10 minutes to the office, sit down, answer emails, blah, blah, blah.

Does the Creator inhabit the ordinary? Is His Mercy found in each moment? Can the drudgery of each day, in fact become something of Divinity being slowly revealed?

But then, there are these moments. Little epiphanies if you will. Last week, I stole (ok, come and get me, FBI) a CD from a friend's collection. I am not sure why I took it. It might be a quest, deep in my soul for something sacred, a longing for even a peek at eternity. Maybe to understand....time.

The CD you ask? No, not The Carpenter's Greatest Hits.

Andrea Bocelli - Sacred Arias.

Andrea was born among the vineyards of Tuscany, still an infant when he developed glaucoma, and rendered blind by a brain hemorrhage at the age of 12. Music filtering into his room soothed the unsettled child, and his passion for music brought light back into his life. He grew up and went to law school, but always longed to sing. Turns out, Andrea and I were born 92 days apart in 1958.

Music filtering into my car and my office this week has soothed this somewhat unsettled middle-aged guy. In particular arias that remind me of the fragility of life, the condition of our humanity, and the mysteriously great love of God:

Ingemisco - Giuseppe Verdi, Messa de Requiem

I groan, like the sinner that I am;

guilt redeems my face.

O God, spare the supplicant.

You who pardoned Mary and heeded the thief

have given me hope as well

My prayers are unworthy, but you who are good,

in pity let me not burn in the eternal fire.

Give me a place among the sheep and separate me from the goats;

let me stand at your right hand.

I still don't understand much. I don't get time, feeling like life is going through the motions, raising girls that are turning into young ladies far too fast.

But I know a few things. I know where I am headed. I know that this is not my home. I know that each day offers opportunities to care, to serve, and to reflect a life transformed by God. To build the Kingdom here. To aleve suffering, bring healing.

I know I have been given hope. I want a place among the sheep.

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