Sunday, May 22, 2011

A Brother Lawrence moment

I think I had a Brother Lawrence moment tonight...

Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection was a monk living in Paris in the 17th century who, although keeping a lowly position as a kitchen worker in a monestary, has had a profound influence on believers for centuries, mainly for his book "The Practice of the Presence of God" which accounts how Brother Lawrence communed with God in mundane, everyday tasks. It was said that people would come from miles around just to watch him do the dishes, because he did them with such joy, and that joy was infectious to others.

At the end of a long and exhausting (but incredible) day, I spill a whole bucket of mop water all over the floor at Origin Coffee right before I was ready to leave. But before I had the chance to get frustrated and angry, God stilled my heart and asked me to enjoy this moment. Everything seemed to slow down, and I just started praying for a friend whom I saw tonight and it turned out to be the best part of my day (which is no small remark considering I saw two of my best friends get married, danced and partied with some crazy awesome people AND played Mumford covers at open mic night). There, mopping up the huge mess I just made, I was at peace, and felt the joy of the presence of God. Anything could've happened in that moment, and I would have been ok, because my joy was rooted in such a way that nothing could be taken from me, even if EVERYTHING was. It's funny, because we chase after that moment, that experience, that feeling, and forget the object that is behind our catharsis. People travel to distant countries, uproot their whole lives, join massive movements, all to find some sense of satisfaction, joy or excitement, and I stumbled upon it in a puddle of dirty mop water. God wants to be with you in the ordinary, often more than in the extraordinary because we live most of our lives in that; the everyday not-specialness. God wants your laundry time and your rush hour commute and your smoke break and your cleaning accidents.

Leave the mountaintops to the religious; let's live with Jesus here in the valley.