It's been said that there's a rest you can get in your work that you can't find in your sleep. I had carried that rest outside (helped a bit by a glass of Chardonnay) to our back patio and let it mingle with the smokey, slow aromas of marinated meat that were rising from the grill. Add to the mix the dark, rich aroma and taste of a fine Macanudo cigar, as well as the unseasonable warmness of yesterday's dusk and you've got one happy fella. I looked up, past all the dancing smoke I was so grateful for that evening, and said, "Thank You, O Lord."
Upon doing that, however, I was touched. I thought about the incredible blessing the evening was in all its abundance--family, health, home, food, job, leisure, sensory pleasure--and was made more aware of those who would view this night as simply unimaginable, from the homeless in our streets to the children of Calcutta. Mind you, this wasn't a cosmic guilt trip; I didn't feel some impulse like that of Zacchaeus or Anthony to run about giving away all that I had (perhaps I'm not yet worthy of that). But it made me wish for the Day in which all things will be set right.
I thought also of how, if all these things were to be taken away, I, like Job, would need to understand that they were fleeting gifts anyway, not mine to be had. There's a prayer we pray after meals, and I found myself praying it there on the patio:
We thank You, O Lord, for satisfying us with Your earthly gifts. Deprive us not of Your heavenly gifts, but, as You entered into the presence of Your disciples, O our Savior, and granted them peace, enter also among us and save us. Amen.The satisfaction of a good day pointed to the awaited realization of another, better One.