Friday, March 16, 2007

The right place at the right time...

Sometimes I am asked the question “what does it takes to be a nun?” I was asked that question again last night. There are a lot of answers to that particular question. My “off the cuff” answer is “first you have to be a woman, then be in a convent, then be in a religion.” Sometimes the answer has been “get to the point where you not only want to give your life to God, but you need to give it to God, if nothing else, just to straighten the whole thing out and make it worth living.”

But today the answer is “Being in the right place at the right time.”

And example of that is that there is a traffic assistant (sort of a civilian equivalent of a traffic cop that directs traffic). She just stopped me in the street one day and started talking to me as if we were old friends. The thing is, I didn’t remember introducing myself to her that day, but she certainly was friendly and…well being a nun is also about listening. Every now and then I stopped and we “chatted” for a bit.

Today I was on my way to lunch and saw her. I waved hello (I couldn’t hear her as my I had my headphones on listening to music). She said something and looked a bit crestfallen as they say. I spoke to her and she said, “My mom died yesterday.” Well she needed someone to talk to there and then, and God just had me come along there and then. She told me how she had seen her father’s spirit leave his body when he died. She also told me of how she was asleep and something told her to get up despite the fact that she didn’t want to; that was when she saw the spirit of her mother. She talked to the hospital and they told her they were just going to call her and tell her that her mother had died. Certainly I understood how she felt, for though I lost my own earthly mother long ago, it still feels like yesterday.

So, sometimes being a nun is just about being in the right place at the right time.

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