My second-to-last day at the Clinic and am deeply chagrined I will be leaving after tomorrow. Being here has enriched my life in so many ways.
I went to "meet God" at St. Nicholas of Tolentine Church on my lunch break. Since Mass was at 12 noon and I missed it by more than one hour, it was only myself and another worshiper on the inside as the facade on the outside was being worked on by men on scaffolding with high-powered washers in an effort to restore this antique of a building.
I went on my lunch break because I needed to pray, not necessarily for peace and quiet which was a good thing, because it was anything but quiet. I felt very little peace while I was there, either.
As I sat, I gazed at the magnificent altar, being guarded by angels heralding the Risen Savior, along with other apostles and saints looking down from the freshly-restored frescoes on the cathedral ceilings at the splendor of the Savior and the event of the Resurrection. My eyes followed over and around to the other statues who looked on, downward in apparent piety; I implored them, along with my Lord, for a sign, any sign (always seeking a sign as I live in a hurting world) and to my dismay, they, along with my Lord, remained silent.
I continue to hurt, desirous of healing, running to the foot of the Cross and I continue to feel or hear nothing in response -- the silence can be discouraging. I sit and wait as patiently as I can on a 20-minute time limit, waiting for something -- a sound, a flash -- anything. Patient is as patient does and reluctantly, I rise from my pew, make a profound bow before the Altar of Grace and turn to leave, feeling as empty on the inside as I did prior to my arrival.
How can this be? This is one of my favorite places to be. I sigh inwardly and make my way out, pushing on the heavy wooden door to go back into the light. Quiet, silent. Disappointing. But even as I leave, I thank God for being with me, even if I can't feel Him. I thank Him for the steadfastness in being with me, even though I can feel no indication He is paying attention.
"At least I hope so," I thought to myself and returned to the clinic for the balance of the afternoon.
Coincidentally -- my very next patient's name was "Isaiah." I smiled as I tried to assure him (he was a mere 3 years old and had the coolest face and afro I have ever seen), gave him a latex glove on the way out since we were out of lollipops and felt the urge to pick of the Bible J.D. had in her drawer and sit in the lobby as I awaited the next patient. As God would have it, I did a "Bible flip" and landed sqaurely on Isaiah, the following verse:
To console those who mourn, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planing of the Lord that He may be glorified.A sign, indeed.