Seattle

A Serendipitous Afternoon At Chapel of St. Ignatius

I am on my way to dinner with my mother and sister and realize we have some time left until the reservation. As we’re discussing how to spend the next 45 minutes or so, we find ourselves driving by Seattle University. My mom suddenly says, “I bet they have a pretty garden here, why don’t we stop by for a bit.”

Without many alternative options we park in a reserved parking zone on the side of the campus. It’s Saturday- it should be fine, we think. We walk along a small pathway next to a courtyard that looks like it could be a garden. Nothing impressive, kind of disappointing really.

All we see is occasional passerbys- a young bearded guy on a bike, a pretty Asian woman strolling with earphones in her ears, and a group of hipster kids walking their well-trained dogs. After a few steps we come across a dog park with happy intellectuals mingling with each other while their fur babies jump through the crisp Seattle air. These are the lucky ones, the leisurely ones, the ones who can afford a relaxing afternoon with their dogs on pretty leashes and their friends with pretty dogs.

It’s quiet, serene, peaceful- not exactly the flower garden we expected but nice nonetheless. Downtown Seattle has a certain cosmopolitan vibe in the air. It must be the frequent rain that washes away human sins, it must be all the happily sad people who indulge in vices like coffee, cigarettes and stale whiskey. Whatever it is it works, and Seattle air is beautiful- more authentic and clear without the harsh sun and blinding blings of material bondage.

We stand at a crossroad.

Look, there’s a map. Hmm. 

Ooh, there’s a chapel? 

We are…..here.

X 

My mother’s crystal eyes light up. My strong and fragile mom would not have survived without God and religion in her life. He is her savior– her lifeline, her forever love, the only being in the whole world who she says won’t ever betray her.

You should just turn to Him too, she repeats.  People may betray you, but God never does. 

I turn to Him too mom. Sometimes it’s difficult, but I turn to Him because He leaves me without a choice…I am forever His. 

My sister breaks the silence.

Wait, is it that over there? Look, I think that’s the chapel!

I turn around and stand face to face with a modern and sleek building dressed in light wood. There is no way that can be a church. The lines are too clean, shape is too minimalist and the door is stripped from any ornamental detail. Nothing but a rectangular line on the wall with some geometric shapes. I’ve visited many chapels in my lifetime, but none looked like THAT.

We walk through a geometric swivel door. Something envelopes me. Intuitively I know something is enveloping me, yet my mind has not processed what that something is yet.

Slowly that something, a non-thing unfolds right before my eyes like magic, like serendipity, a synchronicity, not a mere coincidence as it is much more meaningful and supernatural. I don’t know why or how, I just know.

I hear the wheel of the universe click into place.

I look down.

Wow, He does it again.







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