I am calling my column “Everyday Epiphanies” because I believe that every day of our lives God reveals something new and exciting, something wonderful, a dawning realization that there is more to life than just sleeping, working, eating, alarm clocks, appointment calendars and traffic. Unfortunately many times we are just too busy, too tired, too stressed out, or too involved with the mundane chores of daily survival that the everyday epiphanies sent by God’s messengers are either not noticed, ignored, set aside for another time, or dismissed as irrelevant.
Since the early 1990’s, at the encouragement of Sis. Carmeli, my spiritual companion, I have been remembering and reviewing events and happenings in my life and looking for the everyday epiphanies that I probably missed. She had me make a list of God’s manifestations in my life, another term for everyday epiphanies. At that time I was going through a dark and trying period in my life, midlife-ing, and experiencing the empty nest syndrome, among other things. My prayer life had sort of dried up; only my service and fellowship in the BCBP Community kept me going.
As I began the discipline of remembering and journaling, my mind and heart awakened to the often unexpected, unappreciated manifestations of the work of the Spirit in my life throughout the years – experiences and insights I want to share with you in this column. I offer them to you with the prayer that you will come to be willing to discover and appreciate the uplifting moments of everyday epiphanies, to experience the Sacred in the ordinary. Until now, and I am sure for many years to come, my list of the Lord’s manifestations in my life continues to grow longer. I encourage you to begin your own list.
I remember my elementary and high school years, living with my parents and younger brother and sister, twins, on our small family dairy farm in the rural countryside in the green mountains of Vermont, USA. As the eldest I had farm chores to do as soon as I arrived by school bus from school: cleaning the cow barn, feeding and caring for the young animals, helping Mom with housework and the family garden, helping Dad whenever he needed a helping hand. In the evenings I would study my lessons and do my homework. Sounds like a busy life, doesn’t it?
And yet, as I began remembering with an awakened heart and eyes, I saw that those childhood days were blessed with the wonders of the changing seasons, from the crisp, cold days of winter, to the subtle greening of springtime, to the sultry earthy scents of summer, to autumn’s colors rioting over the hillsides. As I worked on the farm with Dad, he shared with me his love for God in nature, in the mountains, woodlands, fields, flowers, the many animals and birds He created, in the glorious colors and scents of the changing seasons. Dad was not a church-goer but he surely loved God and trusted Him to send the sun and the rain so that our crops would grow. Until now I find myself close to God in the countryside, in a garden, breathing in the honest odors of grass and flowers.
Whether in the states or in the Philippines, every day we can experience an epiphany of God’s presence if only our eyes, ears, and hearts are open and aware of His presence. On the farm I remember one blustery cold spring day finding a single crocus bloom poking its head through a late season snowfall, to announce that truly better, warmer weather was coming. The weekend of Ondoy as our daughter and her family were on their way home to Sta Rosa Laguna, that Monday afternoon, they saw a rainbow – God’s manifestation of the promise of a brighter tomorrow.
Let us remember that every day is an adventure in awareness of how graciously and mercifully God cares for his creation and for his people. Look around you today in expectant faith for your own everyday epiphany.