Good Zeal

The story of the week

A Sister asked whether I would be writing a blog post about some of the “challenges” (read: semi-calamities) that we had last week at the monastery. I demurred, saying I wouldn’t dare try to describe the indescribable. But here I go…

If you can imagine a cross between an “I Love Lucy” episode, a Jackson Pollock painting, and a Special Effects seminar all set against the backdrop of Noccalula Falls…well, then you can imagine last Wednesday and Thursday. But that’s about the best I can do because I don’t think I can really describe the smoke that billowed from a toilet bowl as water sprayed over the rim like a really bad chemistry prank gone awry. Nor can I accurately portray the water that arced into the air from an open wall pipe as Sr. Regina and a monastery staff member tried with all their might to stop the flow by plugging their fingers in the wall. Nor can I describe carpet so saturated that water began spewing from a puncture at the top of the giant garbage bag that was holding it. It poured steadily and confidently, as if it thought itself the Tivoli Fountain. And I could never find the words to describe the drama of trying to get that bag outside without spilling a drop.

A certain number of renovation malfunctions and oddities can be expected. But Wednesday was one for the record books. It was enough to make you wonder if it was a full moon…except that it was mid-day.

But that’s only a small part of what went on. The main story of this week is that our life breath kept flowing, borne aloft on the wind of the Holy Spirit. Our hearts kept surging, marking time in the rhythm of eternity. The skies were bright and clear. The earth kept spinning underneath our feet. We sat in monastic silence at prayers and enjoyed conversation over meals. We prayed. We worked. We rested from our labor. We trusted in God. We leaned on each other. Peace prevailed.
As we prayed Psalm 112 together late in the week, I thought of the events that had transpired. The various dramas brought some quick reactions, hard work, and plenty of frustration. But still, we trusted in our merciful God. No matter what happens, God’s mercy and love is the real story of the week.

They shall not fear an ill report; their hearts are steadfast, trusting the Lord. Ps 112:7

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