Calvary Episcopal Church
20th Sunday after Pentecost
October 10, 1999
Volume 44, No. 38
A Story Told Me by an Old Woman in a Nursing Home
The first thing I noticed about her is that she was so completely
at peace. So I asked her about it, and this is the story she told:
"When I was young I was so active and energetic. I loved hiking,
sailing and gazing at stars in the deep of night. I spent a lot of time
in the inner city too, working with children of poverty. It seemed my
heart was most content when my body was most active. And my deepest prayer
was grounded in the fullness of this love relationship I had with the
world around me . . . Then illness struck, and I've been here ever since.
It wasn't giving up my active life that was hardest though - I also lost
the prayer that had flowed from it so abundantly. One day a total stranger
stopped in to visit, and for some reason I told him about losing my ability
to pray. After a moment's quiet he asked me how I spend my days here.
I said, 'About all I can do now is knit.' 'So tomorrow,' he said, 'before
you begin, close your eyes for a moment and whisper this: God, I'm going
to be knitting now in your presence.' So that's what I did. And gradually
that deep well of prayer began to fill up again, and to my surprise I
began to find life's fullness again where I had thought there was only
emptiness - in the long slow days, in the apple tree outside my window,
in the song of the night crickets. I guess fullness, like beauty, is in
the eye of the beholder."
I believe her discovery is good for us too. Let's try it. For me, "God,
I am writing now in your presence." For you, "God, I am reading
now in your presence." For all of us, "Every moment, God, we
are living in your presence, for nothing can separate us from the love
of God - ever."