I don't know if I've mentioned this, but I am fortunate enough to be in a geographic location where I belong to three separate library systems! I don't even know how many libraries that means I have access to. Maybe somewhere between 30-50? At any rate, I realized that the monster of a book that I checked out from the county library system was going to be due and couldn't be renewed, so I checked one of the other library systems and - sure enough! - they had a copy. So I sneaked out after bedtime, found my book, and decided to stop by adoration on the way home (since the church that was just about next door to the library happens to do adoration on Tuesdays).
At this point, the tiredness was starting to hit, so I sleepily slipped in to a pew. Have you ever done adoration when you are drowsy? It really is the best way to do it, and I'm not alone in that opinion! When I'm wide awake, I tend to bring my agenda to Jesus ("Okay, let's talk about this, and this, and this, and this...") or be incredibly distracted, but when I'm drowsy, it's easy to just be still. As I was sitting there, I looked at the mosaic behind the tabernacle, and the design reminded me of this scene from Tangled:
For those of you who haven't seen the movie before - Rapunzel was taken from her parents when she was a baby, and so (prior to this moment) doesn't realize that she is actually a princess. Then, she escapes for a day, visits the kingdom where she's actually from (without realizing that that is the case) and finds this flag in the course of her day out. Then, in this clip, she looks at the paintings all over her room - the ones she's been making since she was small - and realizes that the sun image on this flag...it is embedded deep in her memory. In a rush it all comes back, and suddenly she knows where she truly belongs, and who she truly belongs to.
Sitting sleepily in adoration last night...I had the same sort of moment. It is so easy to just get swept up in the comforts and struggles of this world, isn't it? Even if you practice your faith and take it seriously - it's still just so easy to forget about God for much of the day or at least to fail to hear His promptings throughout the day. It's easy to be trapped, stuck, and in a place we've always known. This world is familiar. The world to come is not...or is it?
Because, when we sit in adoration, or see an icon, or glimpse a statue or a saint, or smell incense, or touch holy water, or hear a few bars of good liturgical music...suddenly we remember. We remember where home is, our true home. Suddenly, everything else melts away and we can see it - as clearly as Rapunzel. We know where we're meant to be, and where we're not meant to be. That's not to say that we don't still wander back to our tall, dark towers from time to time, because we are works in progress. But, nonetheless, we know that there is a kingdom where we truly belong.
That's what Baptism does. It leaves a mark. And, if we look carefully, we might be surprised to see how much it has influenced the way the world around us is painted. Because Baptism changes everything!
As I've shared before...this is why reminders of our true home are so important!!
And now, for what we wore Sunday. ;-)
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