Today I had a few hours away from the Retreat Center office and Sr. Lynn Marie had an unexpected day off from her ministry and so we took an impromptu trip to a lovely park one county over from ours. We packed a picnic lunch of peanut butter sandwiches, apple slices, and leftover cupcakes that had been decorated with pink icing and pastel sprinkles.
In any ordinary light in any ordinary room the baking sprinkles would have just looked like baking sprinkles – festive and cute, but that’s about it. But in the noonday sun the translucent shapes gleamed, glittered, sparkled, shined – as if a constellation of gemstones had just fallen onto my cupcake out of the clear blue sky. But they were not gemstones. They were just ordinary sprinkles from an ordinary grocery shelf scattered across an ordinary cupcake.
My delight in seeing these ordinary sprinkles suddenly shine like pastel stars was a reminder of the importance of slowing down, of drawing silent, of pausing to let light see the light of day, letting it play and splay across the ordinary stuff of the ordinary days of my ordinary life, refracting into the most obscure of corners to reveal the constellation and distillation of light within. It was a reminder to look at the world with a sparkle in my eye, because even on those days when life does not feel like much of a cakewalk, somehow there is still light distilled in the darkness.
Postscript: There are times and seasons when we have to dig deep and go beyond our usual daily strive. The ability to slow down and draw silent and rest in God’s presence can help us find the pearl within an ocean tide of striving and strife, and perhaps help us realize that sometimes the surging ocean is itself the pearl.