It is days like today – with interactions that stir the soul – that remind me what it is to be a priest. This morning I was scheduled to go get a mani/pedi since I’m going to a wedding tomorrow and *full disclosure* my feet look like hooves after all the abuse they’ve gotten from my running. It felt a little frivolous but I really just wanted a chance to relax and to feel pretty. I went in and a woman named Lynn took care of me. I was scattered when I arrived at the salon and chose 4 colors since I couldn’t make up my mind. I sat in the chair, apologized for my feet, and took a deep breath. Lynn quietly and gently got to work. I asked her name and about her family. She asked me about my family and about the event I was attending. I told her about my race on Monday and what a gift it was to be able to be pampered like this right now. The conversation naturally, and comfortably calmed to a silence and I closed my eyes.
Lynn gently and lovingly went about her work. I have never had a pedicure like this before. She was ministering to me in a really lovely way. I could feel the presence of God in her touch. It was eerily beautiful. When we moved over to the manicure station I asked Lynn more about her family and her life in Vietnam before she moved here. She told me that she always knew she wanted to do nails and hair and to “help women see themselves as beautiful.” She said she could have done other things but she loved seeing people smile when they feel pretty. She was describing a sense of call. I know that sense – I have it for my vocation as well.
My whole day presented these types of interactions with friends and strangers alike. These glimpses of holiness in the everyday. I spent the late afternoon making gluten free communion bread and the opportunity to help in that way while being able to be quiet and in solitude was a real gift.
Then this evening I went to get tea with a lovely friend. We talked about our respective lives and feelings. I was struck during our conversation with how easy it was to sit there with her and to palpably feel the Holy Spirit with us. I literally got goose bumps. Neither of us were putting on airs or trying to force anything. We were just present, as we are – trusting it was enough. As my friend spoke I could hear the Spirit in her words and I was moved to tears.
All day I have been struck by the fact that I am surrounded by priests. No, they are not necessarily ordained – but they are priests to me. In the circle of saints and the priesthood of all believers we all have the potential to affect sacramental change in the world. Every action and interaction has the potential for holiness when made with intention and care. Is this a theologically complex subject? Maybe. Do I believe it to be true? Absolutely. So thank you to all of you who have been or will be priests to me. You may not even know that you have given me this gift, but your goodness shines through you. I am grateful beyond words tonight for the gift of the priests in my midst.