Adela Langa, Dominican Sisters of Adrian
At the beginning of our time at the CDN, a wise man advised me to not let St. Louis become an airport stop, and I have to confess that I have been spending plenty of time in my internal airport. And I think that’s what this canonical year has called us to do: to go deeper in our discernment, to dive in the pool of surrendering, to embrace God’s call to new life, to stay open to welcoming the unknown.
Airports are fascinating places. A pause in between directions. We come to the CDN sort of like arriving in an airport, each with our own bags, only to embark on a new journey together, but one on which we can only take whatever weight the airline we choose allows. And as needed, we help each other place the bags in the appropriate compartments so that we can enjoy the trip rather than be confined to one position only, which would limit our ability to appreciate the view from various angles.
Our trip so far has had various layovers and each one has been an invitation to see God in all creation and to stretch the boundaries of our own hearts. As an immigrant, I have struggled to accept that for a while I do not have a ‘home country’. Romania is my country of origin and yet this August is the 10th anniversary of my arriving in new lands. I have chosen the U.S. as my home for a while but never quite decided that this would be my home as the Transylvanian lands kept calling me back. Never has this pull been more challenging than during this time here at the CDN. And yet it makes perfect sense that the time before embarking on a new plane, one looks at all other possible destinations.
Have you noticed how when in an airport, we tend to look at appealing or intriguing places, and wish that we could explore more places but at the same time know that our chosen destination is the one for which we have prepared and then once again commit ourselves to enjoy the adventures that await us. Sometimes we would rather take a new direction because we know that ahead of us lies the call to face challenging choices, to enter into difficult conversations, to confront our own limitations and prejudices. Who wouldn't go to Hawaii on a cold, windy, snow storm type of day? And yet, how beautiful the view when the snow sets, the wind calms down, and the sun comes out.
I have been neither here nor there, in between home lands, and yet, I have come to see how this is exactly where I needed to be. In this discerning airport, I have had wonderful opportunities to allow people to love me as ‘the other’ and to love them as one who has been the fortunate recipient of abundant blessings.
It’s so much easier to wash someone else’s feet and yet so much more vulnerable to allow others to wash ours. Never underestimate though the loving gaze we receive as we place our naked feet in the hands of our Beloved God. In this airport I have allowed God to touch me and now I can say with all my heart:
My Lord and my God. Your people will be my people because you have loved me first and in your love I have built my home.