Washing Beans

That familiar sense of presence sneaks up on me now and again.  Late Sunday afternoon, I stood at the kitchen sink, rinsing the pinto beans beneath the running water.  Washing away any grit, picking out the stones and half-beans, I made preparations for our meager dinner, and it would be enough.  The love swelled from the depth of my being, and I smiled in recognition.  This is good, I thought.

When so much of our time is spent running, working, chauffeuring, planning (and trying not to worry), and buying (mostly groceries), what a sweet relief it is to breathe into a moment and feel that sense of calm and loving goodness.  For me, it’s one of those tender mercies, a gentle grace, that fuels my faith and restores my hope.

In this time of Lent, I am keenly aware that the wilderness doesn’t always present as a barren, dry wilderness.  One can be absolutely swallowed, lost, and alone in a dense forest wilderness where the vegetation has run wild; a sense of Self can be lost merely by the need for survival.  Likewise, in an overly busy life, whether it’s in a big city or a rural town, the well-spring of Spirit that fuels us with goodness, faith, and hope, can dry up and become buried by our lists, errands, and good intentions.  Now is the time to evaluate our surroundings.  Sit in the darkness.  Listen to that which scares us.  Observe what fills our days and perhaps steals our nights.

Moving toward the Easter light, I’m reminded of the moments when I know my now is good.  That’s what the Light is for, to help remove the shadow of doubt.

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