The air was heavy blue with mist when I heard him singing. Was that my son in the shower? It was not. Did my neighbor have the radio blasting in his warming car? He did not. “Who is that singing?”, I thought. I opened my front door, and there he was. A young man, singing his heart vulnerable at the top of his lungs. The birds were his choir, and the distant train whistle his constant baseline. Together, they were performing a simple symphony, one in which this meander-er both directed and participated. I looked at the clock, it was 5 a.m.
I am half certain that he was drunk, for what other reason would someone be so uninhibited and oblivious to what others would think? But then I wondered, what if I was that full of joy and intoxicated with the beauty that is present in the moment called, “Now”? Because when we celebrate the “Now”, it is then that “Now” becomes present; a gift.
The fragrance surfing the breeze was pregnant with green, and aliveness. What better reason to sing? And what better way to be awakened than a serenade to the world? A call to worship so to speak…”Come and gather, for this moment must not be wasted!” the young man proclaimed with every note.
He was at the end of the block now and the blue landscape had turned grey in the distance, but he was still singing on his journey home….and so will I.
Many Protestants do not know who St. Patrick was. They just credit him to drunken parties and lots of green on March 17th. But Patrick’s story is worth telling.
Patrick was not Irish. In fact he came from a wealthy British family. In his mid-teens, he was captured by Irish slavers and taken to Ireland where he worked as a shepherd. He was often alone and turned to God for comfort. It is believed that it was during this time on the plush green hills of Ireland that the lad began to have visions and dreams of converting the Irish to Christianity. At the time Ireland was primarily a pagan land.
Guided by visions and dreams, Patrick was led to escape Ireland and was able to return to Britain. Soon after his return home, he again began having visions and dreams of returning to Ireland to preach the Gospel. Patrick began to study and prepare for his call to the mission field. He prepared for more than 15 years.
Against his family’s wishes Patrick returned to Ireland and lived out the rest of his days there. He died on March 17, around 460 AD.
We can learn from Saint Patrick. Rather than seeing his captors as his enemies, and as people who ruined his comfortable life, he saw them as lost and dying. His time in the fields reminded him that we are all sheep who have gone astray, and he chose to view those in the world around him in this way as well.
If you are interested in learning more about Saint Patrick, you can view videos and find out how St. Patrick’s Day came to be observed at History.com.
Top of the mornin’ to ya!