Hidden in the Burdens

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In God I trust; I shall not fear.

Today won’t come back tomorrow.

Often joy gets buried in the struggle to be rid of what we don’t like about today, or to get done what we want so desperately to get done. (There’s a difference between doing things and doing things to get them finished.) Joy, we feel, should be unadulterated by what is wrong with today, and so we put it off until we get more favorable conditions.

So much is here to be loved. And yet usually, “This is wrong and that is unbearable and if I don’t resolve this difficulty immediately, it will chew up my brain.” Plod, plod.

What if all we had were today? Would we want to leave the last day of our earthly life unexplored, unappreciated, and unloved? For some of us, life never seems to fit right. We’re never here, even though we’re technically alive. This has to be wrong.

Today, this hour, this moment wrap—in their commonalities, burdens, and contradictions—the sweet surprises of God. We must develop a skill for unwrapping inelegant parcels if we want what is hidden inside.

Today is a secret whispered in a noisy room. We have to learn how to hear.

This minute is a husk around a joy that will remain untasted if we don’t cultivate the ability to peel.


Sr. Miriam Pollard, OCSO, The Listening God (Wilmington, DE: Michael Glazier, Inc., 1989), 78-79. Used with permission.

Miriam Pollard

Miriam Pollard, OCSO, is a Sister of Santa Rita Abbey in Sonoita, Arizona.