The Place Where I Am


~ The things that are very alive ~ love, intelligence, faith ~ don’t keep till tomorrow; they are for now. ~

This weekend I will celebrate another birthday – glory be! Through my work as a chaplain and spiritual midwife, I deeply appreciate the gift of a birthday in this life. And so it is that I am awake to how true the wisdom of my opening thought is and still, struggle to live that way.

Yesterday, I was with a middle age man who is developmentally disabled. He has been shy in our initial visits still, he never forgets a story I share with him or any details of my life. He loves to ask me a question as we begin visiting that reveals all that he retained from our previous visit. He is at once innocent and vulnerable yet at the same time, accepting, resolute and in that way, quite strong. He patiently waits for his end to arrive. It is a gift to know him and to give witness to his life as an instantiation of Divine Presence even as it is a microcosm of the universal human story.

I sincerely hope and trust that my loving and compassionate presence is a comfort to this patient and to all the others I visit – endless human stories. And I hope and trust that my life might evolve to be my prayer as I spend my “talents” (in a New Testament sense) in the moment I am in – the now.

I promise myself that I will enjoy every minute of the day that is given me to live. – Thich Nhat Hanh


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