We returned to work on Monday to get the promised, but secret if not hinted at big news... our residential program will be closing down as of June's graduation. Much talk among friends since then with more than one assuring me that my position "must be safe." Who knows? Reassurance didn't help Anna and it doesn't help me.
Monday evening I walked to my church. And spurred on by a friend, who thought it wasn't a "great" story to say the least; and a friend, who had never heard it... I let loose into story telling mode. It is my best mode by far and I laughed out loud as we explored scripture.
Before I had walked to the church, I pulled a bright orange/yellow piece of paper out of my Bible to mark a page. After the laughter, I slowed down and with some pausing read...
Dear Jesus, help us to spread your fragrance everywhere we go.
Flood our souls with your spirit and life.
Penetrate and possess our whole being so utterly that our lives may only be a radiance of yours.
Shine through us, and be so in us, that every soul we come
in contact with may feel your presence in our soul.
Let them look up and see no longer us but only Jesus!
Stay with us, and then we shall begin to shine as you shine;
so to shine as to be a light to others; the light O Jesus,
will be all from you, none of it will be ours;
it will be you, shining on others through us.
Let us thus praise you in the way you love best by
shining on those around us.
Let us preach you without preaching, not by words
but by our example, by the catching force, the
sympathetic influence of what we do.
The evident fullness of the love our hearts bear to you.
That is what was hiding in my Bible, a prayer by Cardinal John Henry Newman, which is read daily by Mother Theresa's Missionary of Charity. This prayer resonates with my belief in God. I want to shine. I have read it every day this week.
Two hours later, I sat to Examen my day and I wrote "Where are your righteous deeds?" into my journal. I decided then that I would focus on teaching science and gardening and let my job be what it is and what it will hopefully be. Basically to live with uncertainty. I decided that I would bake bread with my students the next day as they came back and heard the news. And I would sell none of it. It would all flow into my students, well, I did eat my share.
Then after examining my day, I picked up "Inviting God In" by Joyce Rupp, and the random meditation included a quote from the above prayer.
Then I went to Flickr and found someone had commented on a photo which I had posted six months ago. I looked at the title, and I had no memory as to why I called it SHINE... then I read the comments below, and I saw a Flickr friend had given name to it. I hope to one day shine like this: