The Person in Front of you
In chapter seven, the chapter I am rereading today, Boyle opens with a quote from Leo Rock, his old director of novices (a Catholic Church thing). Rock is quoted as saying, “God created us because He thought we’d enjoy it.” Today, thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, we are stuck inside, like homies were stuck in the ghetto prisons we ascribed to them. There’s not much enjoyment happening. But I wonder if there really ever was.
How many of us actually took the time to “stop and smell the roses” so to speak? We spend more time at work and in our cars go to and fro to work than we did doing anything else. There was no time for delight or enjoyment, because there was work to be done. Now many of us are out of work, or our jobs have drastically shifted, but still I wonder how many people are enjoying it. I hear a lot of complaining (most of it understandable) but very little celebration of having time to read, binge watch Tiger King, learn to cook, or whatnot. While I hate losing my quiet time to myself, I have found new joys and my eyes have been opened to see life as God sees it...which is to say, beautiful.
In this particular chapter, Boyle took this idea of our enjoying what God has given us to a place that speaks to the original intent of this blog, and that is to see the beauty of God in the face of strangers. Here is an excerpt:
Leon DuFour, a world-renowned Jesuit theologian and Scripture scholar, a year before he died at ninety-nine, confided in a Jesuit who was caring for him, “I have written so many books on God, but after all that, what do I really know? I think at the end, God is the person you’re talking to, the one right in front of you.”
Boyle is able to see God in front of him. It’s not only how he survived all these years in the most violent piece of real estate in our country, but how he was able to find delight in the bleakest of situations. You might be locked up with others in your home, in them are you finding delight? You might be alone, so in you are you finding delight? God created us because God thought we’d enjoy it. Are we? Today is the day, this moment is the fullness of life. Look at who is in front of you - child, a spouse, a roommate - and find delight. If you are alone, look in a mirror and find delight. Then smile and enjoy the moment. For it’s there you will see God, smiling back at you, delighting in who you were made to be - poetry, music, dance, song, art, light, love, beauty - a beloved child of a God who created this cosmic realm to delight in.
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An ex-copywriter turned punk rock pastor and peacemaker who dedicates his life to making the world a better place for all humanity.
"that they all might be one" ~John 17:21
“Prius vita quam doctrina.”
~ St. Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274)
* “Life is more important than doctrine.”