Quiet Magic

During my stay at the retreat centre, I read a book from its library by Anne Lamott. In Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers she says, “There is Thomas Merton’s famous prayer, the beginning of which reads, ‘My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road […]

During my stay at the retreat centre, I read a book from its library by Anne Lamott. In Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers she says, “There is Thomas Merton’s famous prayer, the beginning of which reads, ‘My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me…’ You can look up the rest.”

I thought, “What a delightful assignment! Also, since those words reflect the very reason I am at this centre, I will indeed complete the treasure hunt urged by Anne.” I was unfamiliar with Merton, but in love with the twenty words of his I’d read so far. I searched the same library shelves. If I’m remembering correctly, I found at least three—three!—books by the dude. My eyes scanned each for the pursued text. Much to my disappointment, I did not manage to find the words. I made a note to myself to do so later, perhaps when I had internet again. And then I forgot.

At our service this past Sunday, I gasped to see the words projected onto to huge screen ahead of us. I had been unable to find Merton and his healing words, but Source made sure the words found me.

I love magic like this. I love going to a church that—over and over and over again—responds to my heart’s questions, right down to the poet, even when I don’t even begin to know how to ask them.