Tonight, after dinner was over and the dishes washed, we arrayed ourselves in a half-moon around the shining star of a video monitor. It was time for our usual Wednesday night discussion, and we were gathered to view a conference presentation on a DVD.
On this cold winter night, arrayed around a TV screen, we all looked so ordinary. And indeed we were. Some of us held walking sticks. Some held the high-tech controls to a flat screen and speakers. For some, it was getting toward their usual bed-time and I could tell they were a little sleepy. Others were wide awake. Some still had chores to tend to before they could eventually retire for the night. Some held special concerns in their hearts. One held a cup of coffee.
We looked so ordinary, like any family drawn together around a common purpose and in common concern for one another. Yet as ordinary as we looked sitting in our home on a cold winter evening, we were nothing but extraordinary – as extraordinary as any family, as extraordinary as any person.
During Lauds on these first days of Ordinary Time, we have been reading the Genesis creation stories, stories which remind us that we are created in the image of God and are enlivened by the very breath of God. Beneath the walking sticks, the coffee cups, the sleepy countenances, the eager listeners, the concerned hearts, and the technical expertise lie an array of individuals shimmering with the glow of God’s countenance.
Whatever our setting, no matter the circumstances in which find ourselves arrayed, may we see beyond the ordinary appearance of those around us, and know of the extraordinary wonder of their creation in the image of God.