Happy weekend, kids. Let’s talk spirituality, shall we? (Seems like the only natural follow up to yesterday’s American table dance.)
My religious upbringing was Catholic, as was my university. I hesitate to use the “spiritual but not religious” tag that a lot of Americans use now, because it’s not quite true – I still love the community and camaraderie that you feel when church gets it right, though my beliefs have a bit more mixed in than before. I believe in karma (see: yesterday’s episode with the waffle/whipped cream disaster), but I also believe God is very much here… in all things. Jesuits FTW.
So as I was visiting an apartment today, I heard God loud and clear three times in the course of fifteen minutes. Let’s start with the third and move backwards.
I turned the corner after leaving the house and stumbled upon a Greek food market, and I needed dinner. When I went in, I was greeted by an adorable old man, with eight round serving trays displayed in front of him. He was selling hand-made miniature pastries, each featuring different nuts. I had just come off of a full hour conversation in French so I decided to keep going, and I asked about his food. I taught him the English translations of pistachios, walnuts, and peanuts, and he assembled a tiny tray for me. He handed it over with a laugh, looked me square in the eye and said, “Tu vas rentrer demain, je te le promets.” You’ll come back tomorrow, I promise.
Weird, because that was the plan if I moved in. Demain.
The sweet French girl giving me a tour was in the kitchen trying to show me how the microwave works. It’s additive, rather than only being able to type in the one cook time. When she typed everything in and she pressed enter? 111.
Weird, because that’s my lucky number.
This was certainly not part of the online tour, but it just became the best surprise of all. Off the kitchen is a walled off garden (I can actually get in!), and at the end was a little shed. As we stepped outside past the roses and the benches, she asked, “Es-tu catholique?” I gave her a strange look as she pushed into the shed, and crossed herself. Oops, not a shed. It’s a shed sized chapel! I’ve never seen anything like it. It wasn’t much bigger than this.
The chapel was made of cedar, so inside smelled… well, heavenly. The light fixtures were made of palm fronds, and there were fresh roses laid under the crucifix. I was sort of at a loss for words, in both languages.
I had justified my current living situation as a sanctuary from work and the noise of the city, but when I looked closer at the city, I found the real sanctuary waiting for me inside.