Friday, May 29, 2009

Shattered-A Story of Pentecost

“Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you. And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, receive the Holy Spirit.” John 20:19-23

“There appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2:1-11

A few years ago, I was undergoing a difficult time, struggling with a deeper conversion into my Catholic Faith. I was completely caught up in my thoughts and prayers and had a hard time focusing on my daily family life. I was deeply drawn to adoration and daily Mass and spending time in prayer at church. The priest I knew wisely reminded me that my first and true vocation is that of wife and mother and that I could just as easily find God in my home as I could find Him in the church. I told him that I so desperately wanted to hear the still, small voice of God and thought that it would only happen while I was in prayer at church. He teased me saying “Anne, I don’t think you will ever hear the still, small voice of God. For you, I think it will be the loud, booming voice of God!”

Pentecost Sunday arrived a few weeks after that conversation. I was preparing a large Sunday breakfast for my family as usual. My son, Jack, was sitting at the kitchen table coloring pictures. He said, “Mom, I’m drawing a picture of a campfire.” “That’s nice”, I replied as I continued to stir the eggs. Then he said, “No, Mom, its not a campfire, it’s the flames of fire on the apostles heads!” Again, I distractedly murmured something about that being very nice, and went on with my breakfast preparations. Jack finished coloring, taped his picture to the kitchen cabinet, and our family went on with our breakfast and preparations to leave for Mass.

Jack’s picture stayed on the kitchen cabinet for several days and I really didn’t give it much thought. One evening, my husband took our five children over to the playground to have a baseball game, and I stayed at home to wash the windows. One of our kitchen windows was broken and wouldn’t stay open without a brace. I had forgotten about that in my still distracted state. I raised the window, and then turned to walk away, when the window came crashing down on my head, shattering into thousands of shards. As painful as that experience was, it was probably just what I needed to wake me from my dream state. As the window hit me, I was looking at Jack’s Pentecost picture. Suddenly, the words of that priest came back to me “You will find God at home, following your vocation, and God’s voice will be loud and booming.”

Nothing could have been more loud and booming than a window shattering on my head! It was as if God woke me up out of my daze and said, “Look at that picture! Look what Jack drew! He drew a picture of Pentecost, your new spirit! Your life is in this home and in this family. Pay closer attention to your children, they understand more than you can ever know!”

I framed Jack's picture and placed it in my prayer corner so that I would always remember that my Pentecost, my new spirit, is in my family and in my vocation as wife and mother. I will always find God in my home and I can hear his voice anytime, anywhere, soft and still or loud and booming. Happy Feast of Pentecost!

Jack's Pentecost drawing


  1. Great post Anne...sometimes God has to drop a ton of bricks on my head to get me to notice too :) And I am so thankful that he does!

  2. Fantastic story, Anne. I am so guilty of the same thing sometimes, not paying enough attention to my family, not listening for God's voice in my routine.
    Happy Pentecost to you, too!

  3. That's beautiful Anne! I love the way you described your experience of noticing Jack's picture. Our Catholic faith is so incarnational!