Saturday, September 22, 2007

time for a friend

I am behind in grading my students work, I scramble to be prepared for teaching, my garden at home has been neglected, and I am falling further behind in my readings for the graduate class I am taking. However, I have found time to pray for an extra hour each day (by getting up early) because I have started Ignatius's spiritual exercises in everyday life. Prayer is a fine time to discern what needs to be done.

Three weeks ago I heard some sad news. Two weeks ago I walked a labyrinth and that news came into my prayer. A friend at work has gotten some rotten medical news and is at home hoping for a miracle. As I sat in the middle of the labyrinth God says, "Tell me you don't have the time to go visit the man. The man who has greeted you with kindness for ten years." What could I say to that?

His wife is an avid gardener and requested help dividing day lilies and irises which are taking over portions of her yard. She pointed out that the day lilies were a favorite of his. I e-mail her telling her I wanted to get some so that I could bring them to work and create a garden with my horticulture students.

I was well into getting myself sweaty and dirty when he came outside with his feeding tube. We sat in the middle of an amazing garden. While I drank water, we chatted. We spoke about spiritual retreats, the school we work at, the garden, his diagnosis, and Psalms. I have heard he is praying psalms every night. I tell him psalm 139 is important to me, and it turns out that we share favorite psalms. He tells me how he watches the Christmas Carol each year because of a recitation of psalm 139.

An hour or so later I was headed to the school to unload a car filled to the brim with lilies and irises. I am physically and emotionally drained. The day is near over and all of the things which I have fallen behind are still on my to do list. I do believe I discerned correctly on how I spent this day.

Tonight my prayer takes me to the idea of God creating us out of nothing each moment. I sense this is how miracles can occur. In that instant of being recreated, maybe, just maybe healing can occur.


  1. What a beautiful sharing of God at work in your life, Wayne! I remain convinced that this is, indeed, the "going forth" with the Gospel commanded within the pages of that Bible. Christ "in" me, not my particular interpretation of chapter and verse. The latter, of course, has its place within the witness, but usually more as a perspective offered in communion, not a sword swung at an ear. I'll join with you, my friend, in a prayer for your friend......

  2. Wayne, may your Ignatian exercises be graced. I will pray for you along the way! I'm back from a weekend at Wernersville (yes, I took my mug) on Zen?!?

    Your post reminded me that I should call a friend who is struggling with medical problems, even though I'm behind in grading, class prep and laundry (I can't bear to mention the garden...).

    grace and peace!

  3. Jim-- thanks for the prayer. My students and I have planted that garden for my friend at the school.

    Michelle-- I am amazed at how much time I have spent with friends in the midst of having so much to do. I hope you made contact with your friend.


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