The interaction was nearly silent. My son was hunched over the carrying case to his laptop. I could see his hand plunging deeply in each pocket. With mother’s intuition I knew instantly that he was searching for the mouse. He grimaced and the pace picked up. He was frantically moving his fingers from corner to corner of his bag. Silently and without notice I thought, “please let him find his mouse.”
I knelt at his side and began my own rummaging. Then, I saw the relief erupt upon his face like a patch of summer freckles.
“Thank you God,” Calvin exclaimed pulling his new mouse from deep within one of the compartments.
“Did you know that I just said a prayer?”
Instantly, I began to think about both sides of this interaction. It’s not about religion as we come from a wide and beautifully diverse set of backgrounds. It is also not about thinking that we can get whatever we ask for. But it is about faith or a deeply held belief that if we ask for what we need, there will be a response. Whether that request is for health, nourishment, friendship or protection – whether that request is made via a prayer, a mantra, or simply putting it out to the universe, those requests are answered and it comes in one of three forms. They are; yes, no or not right now.
In our simple petition to locate the computer mouse, we were given a quick and positive response. In the case of healing prayers for a close friend who is struggling with metastatic cancer, the answer isn’t nearly as simple or as forthcoming. Perhaps it isn’t “not right now” but “not in the way that you’re thinking” but it doesn’t mean that healing isn’t occurring.
And so the second side of this equation points back to Calvin’s exclamation upon finding his mouse. His is indicative of our own faith tradition but that response of gratitude expressed without hesitation is a key to a much larger positive energy. Call it gratitude. Call it the Butterfly effect. Call it whatever works for you. I’m resolved in believing that offering the instant gratitude is a very large part of why things might work out for us.
How do you express it?
- 1 cup brown lentils, rinsed
- 4 cups water
- 4 cups low-sodium broth
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for serving (optional)
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- Pinch of crushed red pepper
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
- 1 bunch green Swiss chard (1 1/4 pounds), ribs removed and reserved for another use, leaves coarsely chopped
- 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
- Freshly ground pepper
In a medium saucepan, combine the lentils with the water, stock and 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt and bring to a boil. Cover partially and cook over moderately low heat until the lentils are barely tender, about 25 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onion, crushed pepper and a pinch of salt and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is lightly browned, 7 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cilantro and cook for 1 minute. Gradually add the chard leaves and cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted, about 3 minutes. Add the chard to the lentils, cover partially, and simmer until thickened, about 15 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls, season with pepper and olive oil and serve. This is a great way to use up the swiss chard that is at the end of it’s season in my garden. Do not omit the cilantro – the flavor impact is amazing.