Monthly Newspaper • DIOCESE OF BRIDGEPORT

Beauty breaks forth amongst the ordinary

|   Commentary By Elizabeth Clyons
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I sat in the hospital waiting room, waiting for inspiration. Well really, I was waiting for my dad to come out of surgery, but I thought inspiration might come, as it usually does at times like this. The faces around me looked tired and strained. I watched different families file in and out, hoping that in with one of them would come a story waiting to be told, inspiration begging to be beheld.

But as the hours passed by I realized…hospitals aren’t at all glamorous and maybe, just maybe, I wouldn’t find inspiration here.

But sometimes inspiration comes in the places we are least looking for it. Beauty shows up in the most unexpected places.

Something my cousins and I always reminisce about is the way we celebrated Easters growing up.

My grandparents would hide our Easter baskets all around the house and before our coats were even off or before we greeted everyone hello, we would be off and running to search for them.

We’d look high and low, up and down and every direction in between, to the sound of my grandpa or my uncle behind us yelling “you’re getting warmer…or COLD, YOU’RE COLD.”

The thing is though, more often than not, our Easter baskets were hidden in the most ordinary places. Like in a coat closet or behind the stairs or in the fireplace.

These places that we saw every day in this old house now held hidden treasure. Something beautiful in an ordinary place. Something beautiful disguised as something ordinary or even mundane.

This makes me think of the crucifixion. Those who followed Jesus had just witnessed the grotesque death of not only their very best friend but also the Son of God.

But to others who did not know this, he was just another criminal being crucified. I can imagine the people that lined the streets as Jesus came by with His Cross, acting as if they were witnessing just another execution.

Something awful to some…but to most, part of their everyday lives. To them, something ordinary. “Who is this Jesus?” they might have asked.

But then the Resurrection happened. And that changed everything.

Something beautiful happened. In an ordinary place, in an ordinary time to seemingly ordinary people.

And God deemed Himself ordinary, because He loves us that much.

And because of this something beautiful, we can partake in the beauty of heaven.

After a long Lenten season, some of us may feel that our spiritual life has become ordinary. We may have become used to not having what we gave up with such difficulty in the beginning, or our prayer and almsgiving has become rote. But with the Easter season, something new is coming.

Eventually, those tired and strained faces in the hospital waiting room turned joyful, as they were called to reunite with their well-mended loved one. And so did my mother and mine, as my father’s surgery went well, in perfect timing for a celebration of new life.

Let that hope fill our hearts as we look toward this new season with joy. That hope that God has a way of making beauty out of the most ordinary things.

I guess inspiration did eventually come to me in that hospital waiting room…but not in the way I expected it. How like our God. Like an Easter basket nestled in a pantry. Like a father recovering from an illness. Like the Son of God Risen from the dead. Beauty breaks forth amongst the ordinary.