Words of Hope: Daily Grace

I am reading Ulysses by James Joyce. Truly not the easiest read but entertaining nonetheless. He takes the day in the life of one man and gives these 24 hours epic importance as the great Greek stories from Homer. Covid, quarantine, and my Dad’s death have imposed a gravitas on my days I haven’t noticed before. I find myself distracted in thought by the beauty of the leaves shimmering, the ornate wonder of the stamen of a flower, or the fabric of a petal between my fingers. I feel as if all of nature is saying to me, “Slow down, pay attention, be astonished; it’s all over so quickly.”

The week my Dad turned very ill, I was teaching at a musical theatre camp with my daughters. I started a fine arts division of NBC Camps because all my daughters went the way of the arts instead of sports. These days of camp were busy preparing the facility, welcoming students, and interacting with parents. Early Wednesday morning, I woke up and decided to walk down to see my Mom and Dad. They only lived nine houses away. I had barely seen them that week because of the theatre camp. The sky was the bright blue of summer, the halcyon days of sun, breeze, and full summer foliage. I walked to their house and sat with them, recounting the stories from camp. Dad looked ill, but he listened and engaged in our conversation. I had no idea that one week later, he would die, but when I left the house, I looked at Dad, and I had a small twinge in my heart saying, “slow down, pay attention.”

Our family says I love you multiple times a day. Sometimes it can become automatic and rushed. I remember turning to my parents in the doorway and saying, I love you both with all my heart. I believe God’s grace woke me so early during such a hectic time and placed in my heart the desire to see Mom and Dad. This small grace is of infinite importance. I now see God’s grace is there all around me each day, whispering to me, turn that off and pray for this, stop and notice the beauty of this moment, hold your child’s hand, and slow down.

For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. – John 1:16