Today, she caught me in the stairwell and said “I’m not sure if I should call you by “Tu” (familiar) or “vous” (formal).” It is a big thing in France to use the “correct” way of addressing people. I smiled and told her, “We are all God’s family here, so please, “tu” is better.” She responded with a large smile and we proceeded to enjoy quite a long chat in the hallway.
I am always amazed at the conversations that seem to find me when I least expect it. She has been catching my eye on several occasions during her stay here. Of all the people in this group, my eyes always fall on her. Since their arrival, she has gone out of her way to stop me and strike up a conversation, starting with any little thing as an excuse to talk to me. I have started to note this.
Today, was the same but different. I had received a package and she used that as the opportunity to strike up another conversation. (We never know where our packages will be delivered around here, so it was much appreciated!) This time it lead to a long conversation. We talked about our backgrounds. She came from the Paris region. She had heard of the Camp but never knew where it was, and now she’s here. She was surprised that I lived in the Grand Chalet and asked to see my apartment. It wouldn’t surprise me if she knocked on my door soon before she leaves.
I am thinking at my dining table and reflecting on the conversation. I think what strikes me most is her hunger. She seems desperate to talk, to stop me whenever she can day after day, to learn, and for that familiar “tu” level of acceptance and belonging. She is here for a couple more days. This time I am going to go out of my way to strike up a conversation with her and talk more while she’s here. I pray that God gives me the words to touch her heart in a way only He can.
As I reflect on it and write this, she has reminded me of something so important. As I scurry around accomplishing tasks laid before me, how important is it that I have that same intense level of hunger to stop and just be in God’s presence and sit at His feet—to fully worship Him. My mind has raced back to Luke 10:38-42 when Jesus visits the home of Martha and Mary. Martha was busy scurrying about doing all the preparations for their important guests. All that fuss looked important, but it wasn’t “worshipping in spirit and truth.” Mary took the time to stop, enjoy Jesus’ presence and sit in awe, listening at His feet. While Martha was busy, likely preparing food for the guests, Mary was satisfying her deep hunger for God. Jesus later explained that Mary had made the better choice.
It is so easy to get tied up in our daily activities…even excellent activities for God’s service… that we forget to take time to feed our hunger and spend time listening and worshipping at the feet of Jesus. I am finding more and more that if I don’t make it a priority to take time like Mary to spend time with Him first, well the rest of my day is just flat out unproductive!
As we relax and enjoy the feast that satisfies our own hunger, God somehow sends people along…divinely sent “interruptions”, as I like to call them… that need us to share a few bites from that goodness, too. I am learning more and more how it seems I often accomplish more in those “interruptions” than I do in all the other tasks I’m busy doing. I hope that I never get so distracted that I fail to first simply cherish my time with God, worshipping and enjoying His presence, but that I also cherish the time when God sends other hungry people who want to pull up a pillow and spend time at His feet with me.
“As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” “Martha, Martha, the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed —or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken from her.“Luke 10:38-42