Don’t think I forgot basic maths. That’s not the case. The title results straight from the experience of the last weekend. As my wife left to join post-graduate course, I had two days and a half of pure „being a Dad”. Contrary to popular belief, the four of our children were clean (almost), neatly dressed (I think so) and fed (that’s what they were saying). In short: we made it – even though the love of my life was four hundred kilometers away.
And yet, I could see and sense something different about the whole situation. What was missing was this thing we contribute to – day by day, from hour to hour – when we are TOGETHER.
Because marriage is not just the sum of what two people are and what they bring into a relationship, but the entirely new reality of WE. In many other relationships we can help each other, replace each other, but the sacrament of marriage enables us to do something totally extraordinary – to go beyond the simple maths of 1 person + 1 person and create something new. That can be easily missed in everyday life, but the moments we’re left alone are a perfect opportunity to realize the great potential of „WE”.
Gentlemen, if you haven’t tried that one yet, I encourage you: give your beloved wives a weekend off. It’s mutually beneficial.
“… your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then in this way:
Our Father in heaven,..” (Matthew 6:7-15)
Isn’t that wonderful that we’ve got the Father in heaven? And that we are the heirs of heaven? And that He looks after us all the time? And that we may actually call Him “Abba, Dad”?
Today is our Children’s Day, too!
Every day at 13:30 sharp my cell phone reminder beeps and displays: “That’s good, because…”. At that time of day, originally selected for no special reason, I usually come to a conclusion that miraculous effects of caffeine are just mythology conjured up to please the palate. In general, at 13:30, the pace of the day speeds up and many (un)expected things happen. And the reminder keeps on repeating, every day ever since Spetmeber: that’s very good, because…
That method, which I started implementing on holiday, was frequently put to test. The most difficult moment came when – by killing a mosquito on the toilet flush hose – I brought about a huge hydraulic failure. The hose broke in two and turned into a shower. My Husband had just fallen asleep and I, left to my own devices, was depserately trying to figure out the ending of “that’s good, because …” I succeeded in the end.
That’s how I started saying things nobody would have suspect me of. It’s wondeful there’s that thick mist today, we’ll take such extraordinary photos of the seaside. It’s great it’s raining, because the kids had been dreaming of putting on their wellingtones. At times, I seemed to be surrounded by some fabulous aura.
In short, that’s a very good way to change the attitude of seeing the hole into seeing the donut around. The Author of the method, Fr Jay, has also another saying of his: you need only 21 days for a thing to become your habit.
That does not sound like a lot of training, compared with the results behind the finish line.
… each difficult experience teaches me something. I appreciate especially those lessons which correct the beliefs I hold about my own self. The positive beliefs, in particular.
How really grateful I am to those who helped me – either with their words or behaviour – to find myself in a difficult position. They showed me how many things I still have to work on.
Sometimes it takes a while, before you get quite used to saying this, but each time I repeat to myself: “That’s good, because… “, it takes me shorter to react to difficulties with a smile.
That’s good, because the world looks better with a smile. Doesn’t it?
The room is crowded with children and their parents, the latter are present but unresponsive. The kids are playing, the volume of murmur goes up. It turns into incredible noise when first conflicts occur. Crying and weeping, some children run to their parents and quieten down. The noise changes its nature, it comes from several places and its goal is mainly to inform the whole world about the pain, suffering and injustice. In the end, all the children land in their parents’ arms, and fall silent.
Adoration. He is in front of me in the Holy Sacrament. It is so tough to find the silence within. All that there is is the noise of the “world”: thoughts with conclusions missing, unsolved problems, a radio broadcast recently heard, a child romping in the Chapel, etc., etc. Noise, and once again noise of thoughts in my head. And He is in front of me. His love is radiating on me. At last I manage to calm down and the noise is replaced with the content of deeper resorts of the heart: uncured pain, old wounds, bitter memories of being misunderstood. Overall suffering.
And He is still in front of me. Time slowly passes by. And in the end there is nothnig between us. He and me. And Silence.
How fortunate I am, being an adult, to have the arms I can nestle into like a child. And meet Him. In Silence. The Silence of Love.
When he went out after this, he noticed a tax collector, Levi by name, sitting at the tax office, and said to him, ‘Follow me.’ (Luke 5:27)
Tax – a charge imposed by the state for transportation of goods across its borders (dictionary definition).
My home – my castle, my state. In my state, it is ME who collects taxes by imposing my will, my mood, my laziness or my selfish attitudes upon the others. And it is ME whom He calls to follow Him. And not only that. IT IS ME He wants to stay with, because He knows how much I need Him.
So much sun hasn’t been seen in the vicinity for a long time.
The sun lies down on the living room table and stretches on the worktop of our tiny kitchen. I can’t believe at all it’s shown up after such a long and exhausting absence. I’m cautious about enjoying it, as it might disappear again soon and I’d be left with the sense of regret.
Feeling the warmth on my face, I look outside. Something seems to have changed, the sky is blue, but I can hardly see. Mainly I can see the outstandingly dirty window panes. As dirty as only windows can be, cleaned for the last time maybe in September, in the city center like this.
And I’m thinking: how really rarely God’s love reaches us in its authentic form, unfiltered by the dirty window. It works its way through the screen of mistrust, of the images inherited from here and there, as well as through the so-called grevious lessons of life that we’ve been taught. It reaches us through the collage of broken ideas that match only our handicapped sense of justice, our petty tight-fistedness, since we have already managed to believe that “life is life” and you can’t expect anything good about it, anything to enjoy.
So much of the warmth and the light that could take us under protection with the utmost tenderness – stays outside the window pane. And it seems that this is the only truth that there is: the truth of the neglected glasshouse we’re in. But yes, of course you can feel completely at home there, even to the point that the stories about the beautiful sun outside seem out of place. And incredible.
A water bearer had two buckets to bring water from the river to his master’s house. The buckets were hanging on both ends of the pole that he carried across his shoulders. One of them was cracked, the other – was perfectly fine. The bucket with no trace of a crack – conscious of its excellence – was proud of itself. The cracked bucket – ashamed of its crack – suffered.
One day the cracked bucket confessed its misery to the water bearer. “Because of my crack you carried so much less water to your master’s house every day than I could have hold if I was unbroken” – it said. The man ponited to beautiful flowers, sparkling with colour, only on one side of the road, and replied: “The flowers grow on this side of the road, and not on the other, do they? I saw your crack and I made a good use of it. I sowed the seeds on your side of the path. Each day, as we were going back from the river, they drank the water leaking from you. For two years I have picked the floweres and beutified my master’s house with them. We wouldn’t have been able to give so much beauty to the house if it hadn’t been for the way you are”*
Even though I am like that cracked bucket, I know that the One who is carrying me is not discouraged by my crack. He is not complaining about water being “wasted”, he is not worried by my effectiveness – so much below the human standards of productivity. I know that He can take advantage of my cracks and defects, if only I place them on His shoulders. Because He, as nobody else, “causes all things to work together for the good to those who love Him” (Romans 8:28).
*You can find the story in its full version in I. Holler, Porozumienie bez przemocy. Ćwiczenia. (Nonviolent Communication. Practice.)
So I’ve lived to see this.
Our Foundation has joined the blog-writing community.
It seems from now on I should start making efforts to turn the half-literate person that I am (I can read) into (no, not into someone entirely illiterate – I meant a different kind of evolution) “the writing man”, homo scribens.
For years I’ve felt attracted to St Paul’s imperative to become everything to everyone (1 Corinthians 9:22), so if there are people willing to read, someone has to write, too.
I’m happy that in our Foundation there are people who want to write for those who want to read. May God guide you.