Yesterday I spent my full day at my new apartment. I arranged my clothes and sorted my bathroom out. I figured out which desk would be my work desk and which desk would be my kitchen table so to speak. I found some lovely flowered material in the closet I could use for bedspreads. And I organized my workspace. Again.
That took all of 60 minutes.
It was Saturday and I had only been at the college one day. My on-site contact has been ever so gracious as she was trying to take care of me whilst coordinating all aspects of the upcoming conference our university was jointly leading with their college in two days. Understandably communication was intermittent.
As were my meals.
Food and lodging was to be taken care of by the college. Suffice to say some of these details were still being worked out on a daily/hourly basis. Throughout the day I did not know where my next meal was coming from or when or what it might be.
And while I wasn’t worried, per se, the jet-lag, late nights in airplanes and airports around the world was catching up with me, as well as the stark reality that I was utterly dependent on the goodness of others to feed me, I could feel a lump in my throat when by 7:00, 7:30, 8:00 pm there was no knock on my door nor dinner waiting down the hall.
Earlier that afternoon, the Franciscan Sister who lives on my floor stopped in to say hello. And we sat and chatted for a few minutes and she shared with me her outing that day where she took a group of social work students to the poorest of poor area outside of town to work with the children there.
And then I thought of those children in the outskirts of Chennai who had much less than I. And I thought of the sweet Sister who shared her healing stories with me. I thought of my mom who is in a wheelchair and lives in a care home where she is utterly dependent on others to rouse her, get her into her wheelchair, bring her food, take her to the shower, put her to bed at night.
And I thought of the Creator who sees all of this, simultaneously and compassionately.
“Receive nourishment from what’s in front of you Brenda.”
Those words washed all over me.
They welcomed me to find nourishment in what I had in front of me…a cup of noodles and some boiled water, some potato chips and biscuits left over from the day before. Nourishment from the story of hope I was honoured to hear earlier. Nourishment from the video chat with two of my kids half-way around the world.
Receive nourishment from what’s in front of me right now.
Take it all in and let it strengthen and supply all that I needed for the day, this day.
Nothing less, nothing more.