Wednesday, February 12, 2014

the ordinary holy


Mr. Fantastic and I hopped onto a metro and grabbed a seat.

Alone in the city, giddy with the freedom that comes with a little time off, we sat in contented silence.

The train stopped. Doors opened and shut. Then behind us the music began.

It was so beautiful I thought my heart would burst.

Right there on a dirty train, full of odd odors and with floors covered in grime, violin music called out to us with an eerie siren song of ordinary holiness.

The player was a older man, well-worn by daily life. He closed his eyes as if he was hiding inside the notes he created, and then he smiled like he had finally found his home again when they melted into the air around us all.

One thing was clear, this man was happy.

This is the ordinary holy. It is beauty rising from the ashes of daily life, women giving their last coin away, smiles from strangers as you pass, children laughing on street corners, and melodic love ringing out on a filthy train. What more can a soul hope to find in the city on an ordinary Wednesday morning?

There are moments in life that take your breath away. They are full of burning bushes and booming voices proclaiming good news. We write them down, celebrate them each year, and hold them as precious. There is the first moment you hold your new baby. The decisions to do or not do important things that change life's path. The day you marry for the sake of true love.

But they are not the ordinary holy.

The ordinary holy things hide in plain sight. We only see them if we look carefully, and listen with our hearts open. Faith and trust will help us find the invisible string that links us to these tethers to the heart of God.

Once we do, one thing is clear, we will be happy.

Because the way a man rests his hand on his wife's cheek, clouds that part to reveal perfect constellations, quick footsteps across a bridge before an embrace at its center, the look in a child's eyes when he needs his mother, and the sight of ocean waves that never stop retuning to us, they sing of the gospel.

Nothing is more ordinary and more holy than God placing Himself in the body of a man. Innocent sacrifice, love in action, holy blood covering ordinary sin.

The man with the violin held out a wrinkled, old paper cup after his song was done. I pulled coins out o my purse and dropped them inside. Such an ordinary gift to give. I prayed that God would meet him in the music. It was the most holy offering I could think of to make on his behalf.

We are ordinary and yet God makes us holy. We live in ordinary cities with a holy calling to love one another as He has loved us.

Long live the ordinary holy. May we find its invisible string today, and may it make us happy.

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