"What I want to bring out is how a pebble cast into a pond causes ripples that spread in all directions. Each one of our thoughts, words, and deeds is like that."-- Dorothy Day
A few days ago, I hung my icons on a small, east facing wall by the red sofa of love, but I placed my picture of St. Terese, the Little Flower on the wall beside the front door. God is the head of this little house, but I've dubbed her its patron saint. My friend Bethany gave me the portrait of her cradling a bouquet of roses. The picture came to me just after I saw one of St. Terese's books in Borders, and was moved to pray right there in the aisle, "St. Terese, the Little Flower, send one of your roses to me. Pray to God for me."
The very next day the picture was in my mail box.
Did I tell you I fell in love with this house the first time I saw a picture of it on Craigslist? It's odd, but from that moment on I called it "my little house". Sure, I flirted with other houses, but none gave me the feeling this one did. And here I am, sitting in a miracle typing this.
We still have too many boxes. Honestly, that Ken Burney is a bigger pack rat than I am! Don't think tempers haven't flared as we've dealt with this radical change of life. But there is still love in the walls here. And we are changing. Change isn't always easy.
I've spent these eleven days changing my rhythm. Actually, I've spent them creating a rhythm out of the chaos that was my life. I'm now, unbelievably, a morning person. The long gone "breakfast" meal I so dutifully prepared as a newlywed, has returned. Breakfast was the first meal to go, lovies. But before the food gets cooked, I trudge down the street in the dark at 6:30 am for morning prayer with Lisa, every day except Sunday. At 7:00 I wake the kids for school and get them out by eight. I do whatever chores are necessary, and then I write. Three nights a week my family shares meals with the Samsons. And you know what, living in an intentional, new monastic community is far simpler than I believed it would be.
It isn't very romantic, though there are days, like Labor day, when we are fairly enamored of one another. I don't always feel like going to morning prayer, but Lisa and I are faithful. Shared meals requires that you come out of self-imposed exile and give of your time and self. In fact, so much of community is just that, giving of yourself. We don't always know what to do, and in those cases, we choose to love the best way we can.
But I've noticed it's the little things that are changing us. The big, dramatic movement is over. We are settling into the dailyness of this existence. We pray. We eat. We love. We watch for Christ's coming through the broken. We are Matthew 25 people, waiting to serve Christ the prostitute. We are pebbles tossed carelessly in a pond, amazed by the wonder of ripples.
It's a wonderful little thing.