When I entered the side of the church, I noticed there was no Holy water. I knew the dispenser was at the front, so I pulled out the inner font to get a refill. I had plenty of time to go back and forth before other parishioners arrived.
At the entrance, I turned my attention to the Holy water vessel in the corner. I pushed the button but the spout was bone dry. I turned to our Pastor, also in the vestibule, readying the other celebrants. He must have seen my unknowing expression, and said, “Let’s take care of that right now. Go to the sacristy and find a bucket. Bring me some water to fill it up.”
I’ve not spent much time in the sacristy and didn’t remember seeing any buckets. Regardless, I headed back into the church to help address what I interpreted as a religious crisis.
Now in the sacristy, I saw songbooks to my left and a closet of robes on the right. The sink was straight ahead but there were no buckets. I spun around: a cross, a bookshelf, a wastebasket, Ahh! a big green watering can.I filled it as fast as the faucet would allow.
I walked as calmly as I could, back down the aisle of pews, with my creative plastic salvation.
I filled the stainless steel vessel and Father approved by saying, “Now go get a couple more of those.”
Back in the sacristy, I hurriedly focused more on filling the green watering can than which way my water spout was tipped. At the half full mark, I realized I was spilling water all over the counter. I reached for the first thing I saw and wiped up my mess with a crisp white piece of linen that was probably already blessed for another occasion.
Knowing the error of my ways, I walked as solemnly as I could, past all the pews filling with parishioners.
I added the contents of my second watering can to the Holy water vessel. Father peeked in and said, “One more should do it.”
The pressure! I couldn’t imagine how Moses or the apostles felt being spoken to by God. I was sweating unholy bullets just trying to fill a water vessel for the local Pastor.
I returned to the sacristy a third time without incident.
Until I started to walk back. The woman that cares for the altar was in the first pew. She had seen my mission from the start, stopped me and said, “We use that for the plants. We put Miracle Grow in there, ‘ya know.”
My heart immediately sank. I wasn’t even done yet and had also slopped up one of her linens in the process. I smiled at her with no answers, or options, and continued past everyone in the church.
I poured my last full watering can into the Holy water receptacle. Father readied to give a quick blessing while I considered what the woman said to me.
– Nobody will be drinking it.
– Father was aware of my bucket choice.
– We resolved the situation in record time.
After the blessing, I put the stainless steel cover back on top of the Holy water dispensary. I refilled the font insert and replaced it at the side of the church. I considered how Holy water renews faith. Some believe it also repels evil. Maybe this batch would even help miracles grow?
When you go to church alone and end up sitting with your childhood friend’s mother:
“God of mercy and grace, endlessly patient – so much love, so deeply true – loyal in love for a thousand generations.”
Continued Prayer and Rejoicing …
breathe life into your faith.
…sanabitur anima mea!
…turns out my spiritual journey includes Fifth Avenue.