This entry is dedicated to Justin who tragically lost his life as a victim of a hit-run accident while riding his bicycle.
The Peregrini group gathered around the table for a great meal of falafels, lentil and pita prepared by Justin's best friend Tyler. Tyler's grief process included cooking for his friends. We are grateful that he shared his gifts with us.
In the pain though, we all realized that they are times when the presence of God is in question. In fact, a lot of the time we've found ourselves asking, "God? Are you here?" And we're not hearing any response. Why is that?
Why is it at the seemingly worst times in our lives we can't hear God, or feel God or recognize any tangible means of determining that God exists? Tyler lost his best friend to a needless, reckless act, by no fault of Justin. Where is God in this senseless random act? I must admit, I don't have an answer.
But, I still ache for God. I long for God to hear me and respond to me. Where do I find God's presence when I need it most?
Joan Chittister wrote, "The monastic heart in not just to be a good heart. The monastic heart is to be good for something. It is to be engaged in the great Christian enterprise of acting for others in the place of God."
So like monks who believe that the two most important things in life are good food and prayer - we gathered around good food and tried to be present for one another and especially for Tyler. As Chittister wrote, "acting for others in the place of God."
We also found ourselves being present to one another as we were honest with our stories of loneliness, abandonment, confusion, frustration and doubt. The opportunity to ask the honest questions and express real doubt somehow made it comforting and reassuring; we are not on this pilgrimage alone.
Is that good enough? Is that all there is to it? I think that's all we have.