“Do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years and a thousand years like one day.” 2 Peter 3:8

The prima ballerina enters from stage right and I feel the pricks of pain in my toe as if it were only yesterday. The silk of the ribbons around my ankles and the gentle friction of the tutu skirt on my legs are as real today as they were a lifetime ago on the day of my last performance. I’m not in row G with my 18-month old daughter on my lap or my nieces beside me.  Beneath the effortless motions of the pas de deux, I’m feeling the subtle pressure of blisters opening up inside my pointe shoes, the inevitable dampness of sweat and blood as I ease my shoes off at the end of the show. 

Just as my limbs feel the memories of 15 years as a dancer while the Nutcracker suite unfolds, my heart and mind relive the entirety of what God has done in my life each Sunday at Mass. I may be sitting ¾ of the way back on the far right side, but I am also 8-years-old and altar serving, soaking in every silent prayer in Fr. Miller’s eyes. I’m 16 and serving as a Eucharistic Minister for the first time. I’m 20-years-old and I walk out of the silent retreat I’m attending.  I’m 26-years-old and my heart is breaking as my best friend is ordained. I’m 30 and we are baptizing our first child. My past hurts and failings, my current hopes and deep desires, and the innermost longings are equally present to me. 

As my body relives all the senses and memories of the past, I catch the smallest glimpse of how God transcends time and space. God takes my little life with its moments and days and pieces, brings them to the altar, and makes them whole again. One day draws new life for 25 years and one painful moment is healed over and over again for another 15 years. 

If God could make something beautiful out of whatever mismatched ingredients I’m bringing, then my mind can only begin to imagine what God could do as he takes on the pain and joy of the whole world and places them into his Son. 

My body doesn’t need to be told it remembers how to dance. It doesn’t doubt the “realness” of the memory. This Advent I pray my soul trusts in the memories of God’s goodness and tenderness to me just as fully. 

Is God using my own interests and inclinations as a entry point for a deeper friendship with me?

Jen Coito

Photo Credit: Hudson Hintze on Unsplash