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.