Archive | April, 2012

It’s The Little Things

23 Apr


I was at a job interview/trial run with a family down in the Peninsula all weekend. Slipped into a tiny cafe in San Francisco for some coffee when I got off the train this morning, and this candle was burning on my table.

It will be a few days before I know if I got the job, and I’m anxious.

But this tiny little candle (and it was the only one in the cafe; I asked) comforted me.

I walked around the block to a tiny parish I had spied earlier, and knelt in the closest pew. There’s something about old churches. They smell like old prayers and years of faith. No flashy new programs can make up for that.

It was awkward. It’s been far too long since I’ve just sat and prayed.

I left my suitcase in the aisle and knocked on the rectory door. Confession. I needed it. Desperately.

And the kindest, sweetest priest I’ve ever met, welcomed me in, his eyes overwhelmingly compassionate as I started crying, right there on his doorstep. He reached for his stole without me needing to say a word, and walked with me back to his office.

I didn’t have anything horrific to confess. But he listened, nodded, prayed.

And as I walked back into the sanctuary to do penance, I saw the following inscription under one of the stained glass windows:

“You have made us for yourself, oh Lord. Our hearts are restless until they rest in you.”

One year ago today I felt the waters of baptism. I’ll never recapture that feeling again. And that’s okay. The memories of childhood bliss don’t propel me forward in adulthood. But I can look back on them, and be anchored in the knowledge that I have family, I have friends, and I have faith.

This week I’m striving to stop my restlessness.

Even in the midst of change and uncertainty, I can find peace, and strength, and rest.

Let my heart rest.


Save Me, San Francisco.

18 Apr



Do you hear that sound?

That’s the sound of me begging your forgiveness.

When I last left you, I was moving back to Texas. Well…I moved!

….to California.

…which was equal parts the worst decision I’ve ever made (think, reasons I can’t even legally talk about on my blog) and one of the better decisions I’ve ever made (think, northern California is one of the most gorgeous places I’ve ever seen in the world).

I’ve been tormented and have wanted to flee back to you, dear readers, for weeks. The catalyst came this afternoon while I’m walking the streets of San Francisco (because oh yeah, I’m basically homeless and living out of a carryon suitcase and price lined hotel rooms) slipped into a coffee shop and sat on the patio enjoying the sunshine. I overheard the following statement from a guy hanging out with some friends.
They were clearly hipster theology majors.
The unwashed hair, tattered copy of “A History of Christianity” and stench of old marijuana gave them away.
(I still love y’all, theology majors.)
“I can’t wait until the very first married priest says ‘F*** you’ to the Vatican in his homily.”
The friends solemnly nodded their agreement. And I just couldn’t take it anymore. “Considering the Eastern rites have had married priests for centuries and the Roman rite didn’t disallow married priests until the middle ages, that ship has sailed. Not to mention the married Protestant pastors that convert to Catholicism and can receive dispensations to become ordained.” I know there are more nuances to it than that, but really, the amount of Catholic hating that occurs on the West Coast is even more intense than the Midwest, and I’m feeling particularly volatile right now.
The budding Hauerwas glared at me and countered, “Who the f*** do you think you are? A secret Vatican spy?
Since you mention it.
This post is for you, sir.
Please wash your hair.

I really wish I could tell you everything that has happened, but I can’t. Maybe I can have coffee with each and every one of you some day and then we can swap stories. Or we can meet over a few beers and swap even better stories!

In the meantime:

I remain yours. Faithful in spirit if not in deed.

Which, ironically, has been the sentiment held by more than one ex. Whatev.