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Chaplaincy

Monday, Second Week of Advent
December 10, 2007

"No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us..."
--1 John 4:12

Something of God...


From when I was born until I was eight my mother and I lived with my grandma.  The apartment was pretty full because my aunts and their kids lived there too, but also there were others constantly streaming in. 

I look back on my childhood as being a series people coming into our home sharing time, meals and stories and then disappearing, sometimes forever.  It is only recently that I learned that all of these people were looking for something they couldn't find anywhere else.  Some had no family and became a part of ours, some simply lacked the essential survival tools like shelter and food, and some remain a mystery to me.  All would leave us after some period of time happier and more hopeful. 

 Years later, after Grandma's death, I learned what had really been going on all around me.  My Grandma's funeral was attended by people I didn't recognize and children she'd never met.  The priest who spoke at the service who is also my godfather and a good friend of our family spoke about his time with Grandma and kept repeating the phrase "There's something of God in that."  He described how she could change a person's outlook in one conversation, and how she'd cook a meal knowing that someone nearby would need one and how everyone that knew her, knew her as Grandma.  She was protector of the neighborhood and "There's something of God in that." 

 After the service my mother and I were approached by couple after couple, mother after mother, and family after family.  Some we knew and some we couldn't remember, but they all had a story about how Grandma had inspired or saved them.  I stood and listened as others shared their memories of holidays at our home and I remembered some of their memories as my own.  Grandma managed to open her family while keeping it whole and there's something of God in that.

I was never particularly religious, but that day as we closed the door on Grandma's life I felt the priest captured her nature perfectly.  I learned about faith that day and since then I understand that moments aren't empty and that each day can hold something of God.

-- Randi Rivera '08