Monday, December 15, 2008

Sleeping with bread: Peace and deodorant

It's Monday morning and it's the first time since Friday that I've had time to catch up with reading in the "blogverse" (as my blogging friend Mary Lue says). Speaking of Mary Lue, today is Sleeping with bread Monday and that is the day that I (along with other bread bakers) assess the last week of life and look for the moments, things, conversations and experiences that I felt the most alive and the most drained of life.
This examen is one that I've found most helpful, and I'd be happy to have you join in on the Monday bread bakers. If you'd like more information go to Mary Lue's Sleeping with bread. Now on with the baking.


The moments that I felt most drained of life were ones where I was unexpectedly put in situations that I was not prepared for. One of my friends calls those opportunities, baptisms in fire. While I do enjoy challenges and figuring out solutions, I don't enjoy having to work out ones that are not mine and suddenly become so. In the middle of one of these baptisms this week I thought of the commercial for deodorant that boasted, 'They'll never see you sweat' and I knew that it was too late. I was sweating and others saw it. I did my best to handle the challenge and got through it knowing that the next time around it won't be mine to carry. I hope they remember to wear their deodorant.


Sunday afternoon I attended a vespers choral performance that was held in the nave of the church I work. The room holds about 1,100 people including the balcony and the balcony even had people seated there. The music that was performed by the Jamestown A Cappella Chorus was amazing.

For over an hour the variety of choruses sang. Everything was lit by candle light. The singers exited row by row still singing the song "Silent Night". They continued humming and walked down the center isle and paused there. They continued humming the hymn, all-surrounding the hundreds of people sitting in the church, candles softly lighting their faces. It was beautiful. It made me remember singing 'Silent Night' in my high school Christmas program. We had candles, robes and evoked that same peaceful presence. Who would have imagined, years later, a different school, a different state but the same song and the feelings that go along with it. Connections like this make me feel alive.

In reading a devotion in Sacred Space last week, I was challenged to think in terms of all the adapting Mary had to do. She was unexpectedly pregnant, needing to explain this to her fiance, and needing to move to Bethlehem in the most uncomfortable part of her pregnancy. She had to learn to adapt and go with the flow. She had to be able to embrace peace in a way that went beyond the circumstances of what was going on around as well as inside of her.

Today there is much to do even on my day off. There is a tree to put up and decorate, cookies to bake, cleaning and moving of furniture, laundry (there is always laundry), and music lessons to taxi my son too. I will try to hold on to the peaceful feeling I was wrapped up in at vespers yesterday afternoon, even in the midst of things that make me sweat. Just like Mary we have to learn to adapt to what happens in life and hold on to peace even in the midst of our labor.


"The origin of the Christmas carol we know as Silent Night was a poem that was written in 1816 by an Austrian priest called Joseph Mohr. On Christmas Eve in 1818 in the small alpine village called Oberndorf it is reputed that the organ at St. Nicholas Church had broken. Joseph Mohr gave the poem of Silent Night (Stille Nacht) to his friend Franz Xavier Gruber and the melody for Silent Night was composed with this in mind. The music to Silent Night was therefore intended for a guitar and the simple score was finished in time for Midnight Mass. Silent Night is the most famous Christmas carol of all time!

Silent Night

Silent night, holy night
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon Virgin Mother and Child
Holy Infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace
Sleep in heavenly peace

Silent night, holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight
Glories stream from heaven afar
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia!
Christ, the Saviour is born
Christ, the Saviour is born

Silent night, holy night
Son of God, love's pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth "

Christmas Carols

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Mary-LUE said...

Oy! Adapting gracefully to circumstances... I'm not that good at that. I think I'm quite a visible sweater! ;)

Thanks for the background on the hymn. I love hearing stories about songs.

Mel said...

I've just spent a good chunk of time filling my senses with the lovely sounds of JSH A Cappella Choir.

*happy sigh*

What a glorious part of my day--it's bound to get only better. Thank you for the drink of water and the tasty piece of bread.
Peace-filled holidays to you and yours!