Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Best Christmas Vigil Ever!

Last night (Filipino time) I attended the Christmas Vigil at the Carmelite Monastery in Davao City, Philippines. I had been attending the Simbang Gabi Masses for the previous nine days, minus a few, both there and in other locations around the country, but I was happy to be at this church for the Christmas Eve and Christmas morning Masses. Without a doubt, it was one of the coolest Christmas Vigils I have ever attended.

I arrived about 5 minutes after 8:00, (the Mass started at 8:30). The body of the church was pretty well full, but there were still stacks of chairs that had not been set out yet, so I grabbed one and set myself up at the back, in the portico on the right hand side, where I wouldn't be too much in the way for everyone coming in, but I could still see the altar by leaning a little to my right around the doorway.

Of course that only lasted until all the other seats were taken, all the rest of the space in the portico was filled, and there was a lady standing beside me without a seat. Of course I could not just sit there all comfy and let her stand. I feel certain my Mama would have sensed the disturbance in the force and contrived to find a way to give me The Look! from ten-thousand miles away. I have no idea how she would have done so, and I didn't wait to find out.

So of course I stood up and offered her my seat, and I stepped a few steps back behind the rows of plastic chairs. Unfortunately this also meant that I stepped out from under the arch of the portico ceiling. Wouldn't you know it, it was raining out there! I was able to take some refuge under the umbrella of the gentlemen whose view I blocked when I stood up (I can't help that I am roughly twice the average Filipino's size.) He was kind enough to hold his umbrella over my head the entire rest of the Mass. However, since there were two of us under there, my chest and shoulders somewhat encroached beyond the protective circle, and accordingly got rained on for the entire Mass. There also seemed to be a hole in the umbrella, somewhere in the vicinity of directly over the back of my head

The choir, however, was awesome, and the crowds of Filipinos standing in the rain to worship the newborn King was such an incredible experience, I not only did not care, I felt like spontaneously enacting a remix of Gene Kelly's "Singin' in the Rain" routine, combined Piano Guys' style with "Angels We Have Heard on High."

Sometimes when I am sitting in a chair at the kitchen table, working at school, or a blog, or some other VERY IMPORTANT PROJECT!!!!! my fiancee' will come up behind me and kiss the top of my head, and I know that she wants me to pause what I am doing and look up into her face and see her for a second. Good things happen then.

The rain on my head is something like that. God wants me to pause and look up and see Him for a second, so that good things can happen.

Perhaps that is why He is taking all the hair off the top of my head, so that I can feel His touch more readily.

Blessed Be He!
Merry Christmas All!

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