|Christy works at African Community Center’s Safari Thrift Store|
I would never have considered myself spiritually poor before I came to CVV. In lots of ways, I wasn’t—I had grown up in a strong Christian family and had developed a meaningful faith life. I felt like my relationship with God, while not perfect by any means, was a personal one; I lived my life pretty strictly according to my morals and values. Coming to Denver, I never anticipated the immense growth in my spirituality that would occur, and how it would change me; how it would push me to look for God outside the times I set apart for Him, but to recognize Him in the day to day experiences of my life. Learning theological reflection has helped open my eyes to a deeper understanding of God.
I read the The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupéry on our spring retreat to St. Benedict’s Monastery a few weeks ago, and while I was reading it for entertainment, it struck me a very real way.
“The desert is beautiful,” the little prince said. The book continues, “And that was true. I had always loved the desert. One sits down on a desert sand dune, sees nothing, hears nothing. Yet through the silence, something throbs and gleams…”
This year has opened me up to that throbbing and gleaming in others, in situations that seem hopeless, and in times when it’s hard to see past my own prejudices. CVV has opened my eyes to seeing God in those times when I have failed in the past to recognize Him.
I see Him now on the mundane days sitting at the register at Safari Thrift, because He is the thankfulness in those who are homeless who are accepted here; He is the joy in the lonely people that come not to shop but to talk to someone who will listen; He is in the relationships that are formed between myself and the refugees, even though we can’t speak the same language; He is the invisible force in the day that makes it beautiful, even when it seems ordinary. This year has taught me to see God in these things, and to more fully understand the wisdom of the little prince, “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”