This week, I have found myself longing for those moments where the world seems to stop, where nothing else is going on except the moment you are in. The future will happen as it does, the past is behind you, and only this moment matters. Being from the beachy town of Marshfield, MA, it was always easy to feel God in the moment by taking a quick trip to the beach. Seeing God’s immense power and beautiful creation makes the current moment seem more than enough. But moving to the crammed and busy city of Philadelphia quickly made these moments of stillness hard to find.
This week my community member, Dylan, thought it would be nice to go on a reflective walk for prayer. After a long day of first graders needing my attention, covering classes all over the school I serve at, an interview, and a yoga class, I took this time to sit in the Garden of Healing outside of St. Augustine’s Parish. I noticed the cars rushing behind me on the Ben Franklin Bridge, as well as the other noises of a city that was in a rush even at eight o’clock in the evening. I realized that lately, my life is much like those cars and the city, rushing from commitment to commitment and not taking time to pause for anything. I’ve always been the kind of person to fill my days to the brim with tasks and events, but it seemed easier to slow down in the suburban town I spent twenty-two years of my life in.
While sitting in the barren garden that winter had destroyed, I started to see little sprigs of greenery, a few leaves here and there. As I kept looking around and exploring this small yet big garden, I noticed a few bundles of daffodils and was immediately pulled into the moment. God was drawing me into the space, begging me to notice him and his creation. While these moments of stillness seemed so far, God pulled me in and not only reminded me of my childhood home where daffodils fill the front yard, but he made it clear that He is just as present here in the busy city as he is in the quiet seaside town where I grew up.
As Lent continues, I encourage you to find the thoughts and images that make you stop, that make you feel like the world has stopped and make you feel like God is present.
Philadelphia, PA 2021-2022