Buechner’s words, “ God who speaks into the nonsense of our days”, tempered me as I threaded around cars turning into the parking lot of Gloucester’s Holy Family Parish. It was the annual Strawberry plant sale. Gloucester’s not only home to many Catholics but apparently, to large numbers of hopeful strawberry farmers.
Since I was neither, I maneuvered around idling cars to run my errands. Once done, reversing the route, I noticed the church steeple, towering above Holy Family Parish and surrounding buildings. Atop it all stood the cross, beneath it, scaffolding and signs of ongoing construction.
Into this ordinary day God seemed to whisper, “The Church, my children, still under construction.” The Cross? “It is finished.”
A look, an image, whispered words and I’m a child again, holding one side of a hymnal, my brother Dan, the other. We’re singing words beyond our years.
“Beneath the cross of Jesus I fain would take my stand,
the shadow of a mighty rock within a weary land;
a home within the wilderness, a rest upon the way,
from the burning of the noontide heat, and the burden of the day.”(Elizabeth Clephane)
Lyrics seared into memory, words learned before meanings grasped.
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