With Eyes of Faith
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Today was a beautiful day.

I know that it was because I was sitting in my kitchen staring occasionally out the window at the blue sky and leafy green trees in the backyard while waiting for the pizzelles I was baking to get done. This would be the second batch I had made this week – the first to share with my Adult Confirmation class, which met on St. Joseph’s Feast Day, and also for our staff meeting on Wednesday.

They had been so well received that I decided to make another double-batch and so I knew that I would be confined indoors this morning for a couple of hours while the pizzelle maker churned out the flat, wheel-shaped Italian cookies.

Knowing that my knees no longer like for me to remain standing for two or more hours straight without a break (a sign of aging), I acquiesced - parking a folding chair by the sink and placing a bright yellow cup with my favorite ‘zero sugar’ beverage and ice cubes on the counter within easy reach of my work area. This time I added music so that I could practice my ‘dance moves’ (technically “counting steps”) between the spooning of the dough into the press and the three to four minute baking that followed.

I was not feeling at all self-conscious - as Felicity, our cat, had already checked out the contents of her food dish and had gone upstairs presumably to do cat things and to avoid having to spend time with or be embarrassed by me.


It was while exercising that I observed unexpected movement outside. One of the Eucalyptus tree branches began to shake violently. I stopped and stared. After a few seconds I caught a glimpse of the culprit’s furry tail as it slipped out of view behind some leaves. I continued watching and the squirrel hopped gingerly back into view. He then began to leap and hop from branch to branch in a sort of spiral-fashion, shaking the leaves as I had seen before. He paused just long enough to give me a wink and a nod as if to invite me to join him in this joyful dance among the tree branches.

This dance went on for about ten to fifteen minutes and though I was delighted by this impromptu entertainment, I still had half a mixing bowl of dough to babysit. By the time the last cookie came off from the press, he was gone – on to other performances, I suppose.

He could care less about the number of pizzelles I had baked, nor that Cheryl and I would plate a bunch of them for delivery that evening to our friends at the local grocery store and the remainder taken to our parish’s final Lenten Soup Supper as a special St. Joseph treat for the community.

Had this only been some random encounter? Or did we share in something holy… God’s spontaneous joy! - a taste, perhaps, of how God delights in each one of us when we stop and allow ourselves to encounter the holy in one another.

John De Gano is a deacon at St. Catherine of Alexandria parish in Riverside.