God works in mysterious ways....

We often say, "God works in mysterious ways..." but I wonder if we really trust that to be true? This morning, I walked into the Sanctuary to set up for midday Eucharist and there was a small, elderly Indian woman laying prostrate on the floor before the Cross. Hmmmm... not wishing to disturb her prayer, I went about my business - got the candles lit, set the host and chalice in place, turned on some lights - and then went back to my study to vest. And when I returned at the appointed hour, she was still there: sometimes with her head on the floor and at other times kneeling. She may have been praying in tongues or some language I have never heard.

Simultaneously I thought:  "Thanks be to God she feels safe to come into this place and pray" AND "God damn it, I'm just about to celebrate Eucharist - what am I going to do with this strange soul?" I am not proud of this second thought - and wish to Jesus it wasn't real - but sadly it was. So, I went and stood quietly next to her and when she realized I was there said, "We are about to celebrate Holy Eucharist. You are free to keep praying or you can join us. I just didn't want you to be startled."  She smiled and said she would likely join us in a moment.

And she did... but after about 20 minutes of lectio divina and prayer she said, "I am grateful to have been here. But now I must go and meet my son who is across the street at the library. We are passing through town and I just wanted to pray." And then she left. Indeed, God DOES work in mysterious ways because guess what the Gospel reading was for us today?

Jesus turned to the host of the party and said: “The next time you put on a dinner, don’t just invite your friends and family and rich neighbors, the kind of people who will return the favor. Invite some people who never get invited out, the misfits from the wrong side of the tracks. You’ll be—and experience—a blessing. They won’t be able to return the favor, but the favor will be returned—oh, how it will be returned!—at the resurrection of God’s people. (Luke 14)

Later in the day, as I was setting up for our film class discussion of "Jesus of Montreal" the LED projector bulb exploded. As I sadly discovered, not only did we not have a replacement, but there is no place in town that sells them. So we 
canceled the class until such time as we get the projector working. And do you know what? I needed a night off... again that business about God working in mysterious ways. Well, even when I don't always believe it, I know this is true and tonight I am grateful.


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