This morning at mass we sang "Be Not Afraid," by Bob Dufford. It begins like this:
You shall cross the barren desert, but you shall not die of thirst.
You shall wander far in safety though you do not know the way.
You shall speak your words in foreign lands and all will understand.
You shall see the face of God and live.
Be not afraid.
I go before you always.
Come follow me,
And I will give you rest.
Good promises to contemplate as the walk nears (and Heather's trip, too). But I also thought of the last part of the refrain, "Come follow me, and I will give you rest." I've come to accept those words as a promise for the present as well as the future, since Jesus also said, "The time is fulfilled, the kingdom of God has come upon you." So I've looked for the rest offered even now.
And our arrival here has been a great experience of that rest. I've told Heather before that I don't believe in "too good to be true" (with God). But, like our relationship, the Mahoneys and this retreat place seems almost too good to be true. It reminds me so much of what appealed to me about the monastic life, but it's so much better, more open, with a ministry to poor people, and a lovely setting for family life, or any life for that matter. The nameless church folks are also great. We talked theology at a local bar with some of them on Thursday and worshipped at their house tonight (I'm still here using their computer). A good group of young couples, and fun to be with. Just what we needed.
And to think it began when I picked the Mahoneys' newsletter off a cluttered desk in a moment of desperation...