Friday, March 22, 2013

Onions and Potatoes: Wonder and Awe

Friday greetings from the very cold Midwest.

One of the ways that I approach my work here is by looking to what happened on the day I was confirmed, May 13, 1972, at Saint Charles Church in Woburn, Massachusetts. As a manager who is Catholic, I often turn to the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, given to me in confirmation, for inspiration and guidance.

I have those gifts on a piece of paper taped to my credenza here at my work station at WLP:

It's that last one that I try to cultivate as much as I can, especially on days when God can seem absent. Sometimes it just takes a simple opening of the eyes.

Here's a case in point. Last night, after a frustrating hour plus commute home, "stop-and-go" on the Kennedy Expressway here in Chicago, I started to prepare dinner. Even though the temperature outside was sub-freezing, that magical Spring early evening sunlight was streaming through the window in my home. As I stood at the kitchen counter peeling the potatoes and slicing the white onions, I was stunned by the sheer beauty of the way the sunlight was flooding the room and kissing the onions and potatoes. That seventh gift of the Holy Spirit, "wonder and awe in God's presence" suddenly welled up inside me. I stood there staring at these onions and potatoes. Finally, I took out my phone and took a few pictures. I don't think I've ever seen a more beautiful onion.

And the potatoes.

Just grateful today for these small things that make me realize the tremendous free gift that "wonder and awe in God's presence" can be in my life, when I take the time to embrace that gift in these simple moments. Who knew that onions and potatoes could provide the context!

I hope that your Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion is filled with grace for you. It is supposed to snow here; we'll probably be batting away snowflakes with our palm branches!

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

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