Monday, October 27, 2008

Paz

My friend Mari, who I think is an incredibly gifted writer, has inspired me to be more open and vulnerable in my writing. Perhaps this is a big mistake for me and what works for her won’t work for me but you never know unless you try, right?

So here goes. I’ve been going to church. And praying. It’s true. It started when I began to be able to make my favorite meals in my new house. I was so grateful to be tasting the food I had missed so much that I would say a quick thank you before I ate…and it just snowballed. Before I knew it I was praying ever day and going to church most Sundays.

When I’ve told people I’m going to church, they ask me, “why?" i tell them it’s because I’ve never felt more blessed, more happy, more grateful in my life than I do at this moment. I’ve never felt such a welling of emotion for this life I lead. I’ve never felt more sure that there is a God of some kind orchestrating the universe. I've never needed to say thank you so much.

But I feel quite shy to write about God, like He and I are just beginning a relationship, and it’s too new to even talk about it with anyone.

I go to a Catholic church right near my house. I like the idea that I walk to my church, take the dusty path over the canal and onto the tree-lined streets, through the park and past the swings. I like that I answer the calling of the bells signaling the beginning of Mass. I always sit in the last pew, closest to the door, so that as they take Communion, I can slip out…because I’m not really Catholic. I’m just there for…well…to say hi…to God.

The sermon is completely in Spanish, and I understand the occasional word. I like to imagine what the dude up front is talking about. Something about “loving God first” and “How do you show you love God each day?” Without the words to guide me, I’m left with half words to guess at, meanings left incomplete, questions unanswered.

I honestly like it left to my own interpretation…which probably means when I finally understand Spanish, I won’t be going to Mass. But, until then, let me just tell you about my favorite part of the whole thing.

It's the smallest detail. It's the part when you turn to your neighbors (the people next to you in the pews you have ignored and not even looked at since you arrived) and you shake their hand, smile and say “Paz” or “Peace.”

How much kinder would the world be if we always greeted people on the streets with a smile and “Paz”?

What if, instead of honking your horn as you impatiently sit in traffic, you smiled and said, “Paz.”

It sounds so simple. But I know when the lady on the metro totally cut in front of me, I didn’t feel like smiling and greeting her with love and peace.

Still, it’s a nice idea, right?

I guess today, this is how I show my love for the Big Guy Upstairs. I write about the idea of peace at the smallest level. And hope that, when the lady on the metro cuts in front of me next time, I will smile and say “Paz.”

Que te vaya bien (and paz),

C in C

1 comment:

La Gringuita said...

Oh Cathy, I love your beautiful transparency here, and I feel completely and utterly blessed by your compliment; it really means so so much. And I really really love that food inspired you to pray...food is definitely the most inspiring thing in life usually...
Let's hang out again soon, when I'm not so mopey. :) I love your company!