Today at church our preacher was Sister Helen Prejean, best known for her book Dead Man Walking. One of the perks of attending a university chapel is that you get amazing guest preachers, and Sister Helen was quite moving. Part of her sermon touched on awakenings, how grace awakens us to God's purposes and plans. It can start with just a nudge--her work as a counselor to death row inmates started as a casual suggestion she be a pen pal with a prisoner--followed by another nudge, and another.
That is how my faith life has seemed to me--a series of awakenings. A chain of nudges. People showing up in my life unexpectedly. Angels stopping by to be entertained unawares. The other day I prayed to be more obedient, and five minutes later I got a phone call from someone who needed my help. Took me half an hour to make the connection. A year ago, it would have taken all day. Maybe I'm a little more awake this year. Maybe I'll be even more awake next year, and it will only take me five minutes to figure out why the phone rang.
I don't know if we're ever fully awake in this lifetime. I imagine that in the coming kingdom we will be astonished by we did not and could not know during our time in this world. All the angels unawares will be revealed to us. All the things we called coincidence. All the wake-up calls--the ones that we heeded, and the ones that we ignored because we wanted to sleep for five more minutes.