Monday, October 25, 2010

A Short Pilgrimage: I Thirst

     A few months ago John, our brother in Christ, made a pilgrimage to Emmitsburg, Maryland. I was more than a little confused when he presented us with the plastic water bottle pictured above upon his return. He described how hot and crowded it had been that day.
     I’m sure I looked both baffled and amused when he said he’d already drunk the water out of the bottle (he hoped we didn’t mind), and refilled it. I couldn’t figure out why on earth John had brought us a previously-used plastic bottle of what used to be spring water, so I examined the label for clues.

Finding none, I briefly wondered what the proper length of time would be to hold on to said water bottle before pouring out the contents and recycling it. You know, along the lines of how long should you keep the dandelions the kids picked for you before quietly, stealthily putting them in the trash.
     John finally explained that the bottle he’d had the water out of was what he’d filled with water from the National Shrine Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes, which is the oldest known replica of the famous French shrine. Suddenly something seemingly cheap and commonplace had much more significance. He hadn’t brought anything with him to carry water back in, so he used what he had to bring us a special gift from his pilgrimage.
     The experience made me wonder how often we see other people, situations, and/or things that we judge based on quick assumptions or outward appearances? How often do we assume there’s nothing deeper or holier than meets the eye?
     Lord, please help open our eyes to Your Light which is present in each man, woman, and child. Teach us to honor Your Presence in all we meet by treating everyone with respect, dignity, and compassion due to a child of God. Amen.

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