Friday, August 24, 2012

Eye contact

It's an amazing phenomenon to me. A glance, and suddenly you realize that one person in the crowd sees you. Not another humanoid shape, but really sees you. Eye contact. Sometimes get that eye contact feeling of recognition even with your back turned. Once I had an especially unusual experience of being on the receiving end of a steady gaze; it may have been similar to Nathaniel's moment under the fig tree.

It was on my first and only mission trip in an exotic locale. Two of us Daughters of St. Paul wwere conducting book fairs in the Virgin Islands. We had arrived on St Croix by sea plane, coasting in over waters so still and clear you could see the grains of sand below. The sisters at a local convent let us  use their guest rooms, while a borrowed van served as our staging area. We had just enough time for our Hour of Adoration, but the sisters weren't around to show us to the chapel--we found it all the same. A broad, bright space with kneelers around an altar, but no tabernacle. Disappointed, I recollected myself all the same in order to read the Bible.

Which is what I was doing when I felt a gaze coming from just over to my right a bit. It was so persistent as to be almost physical. I followed the sensation. Nothing in that direction but a large ceramic planter with greens trailing from the turrets. But I couldn't shake that feeling.

I followed the "gaze" again to its seeming source. It was the castle! On a hunch, I turned to my fellow sister. "I think I know where the Blessed Sacrament is." She gave a quizzical look as I walked over to the planter and examined it a bit. There was no door or anything like that to say it could be a Tabernacle. So I just picked the whole thing up! There, "in" the castle, was a golden ciborium. My senses had not deceived me at all!

"Before Philip called you, I saw you under the fig tree!"

I don't get many fig tree moments like that one in the Virgin Islands. Maybe I'm just running around too much to notice that someone can't take his eyes off me.

1 comment:

Elizabeth Mahlou said...

Amazing! I hope you get more such moments, but I think you are right: we have to slow down for that.