Christi Ortiz is a licensed marriage and family therapist by profession and a poet by passion. She enjoys trying to put to words to that which is wordless and give voice to the dynamic and wild spiritual journey called life. She lives in Spokane with her husband and two children, Emmanuel and Grace. She loves the outdoors and meditating in the early mornings which gives rise to her poetry.
Reading the Gospels, let’s be honest, we have a tendency to scoff at those dense disciples of Jesus. How could they not recognize him for who he was? How could they not have more faith? They never seemed to get it, stuck in their small minds and worldly ideas of a messianic kingdom.
And then our judgmental mind is interrupted by a still, small voice, “He is not dead. Do you recognize the Lord. He is with us always. How many times do we miss his presence?”
Stunned a bit by my own blindness I realize I too have the small mind of the disciples. They may have expected a political Messiah who would bring justice and power and end their poverty and oppression, not preach about the blessedness of poverty and humility. And maybe I want a god with skin, or a lightening bolt or a voice from the clouds to get my attention. Maybe I too expect something different. Just as the disciples found it hard to recognize The Anointed One in the dusty, simple Galilean, we find it hard to see the Spirit in the mundane forms she hides in our ordinary days. Perhaps I too am blinded by my ideas of who and how God should be. How many times do I fail to recognize the countless ways you come to me? The still small Voice you use to call out to me? The stirrings of the Spirit within me?
I too stumble along in your path failing to recognize your presence. What if I were to notice your grace in the smiling child, my neighbor in need, and and the stranger’s kind deed? We can read passages and wonder why the apostles didn’t have more imagination and were stuck on the small box they expected the Christ to fit into. In our naive haughtiness we can easily think, “If I were there I would have….”.
And then the present moment stops us in our tracks and we look back and see all the footsteps of the Lord where we never knew he was present. We recognize grace was there all along, while we were too busy to notice her.
So today I vow to try to keep my eyes and my mind open. You challenge me to radical faith and compassion and these daily opportunities always feel way too ordinary to be a divine opportunity. But the Gospels teach me the mundane is sacred and the savior rarely comes as I expected.
How can a news organization possibly cover a horrific community tragedy, respecting those most affected — victims, their families and friends — while simultaneously serving the larger community? Short answer: It is not always possible.