I'm not sure what ever provoked me to do so, but when I was a little girl, one of my sacrifices every Lent would be to give up "watching people" during communion time. Instead, I would spend that time (then) just looking down or around. It was fun for me, because we always sat in the front of church. So, rather than see who was in church or what they were wearing, I would look down. Then, on Easter, I would look around again! It was wonderful, and magnificent to see everyone there. And what a great day to "come back" -- everyone dressed in their Easter finest. So fun!
I haven't done that for many years, but decided this year that I was going to try it once again. I have to start this with the caveat that I am a Eucharistic Minister, so sometimes I don't have the ability to do this (somehow, I think it would be rude to look at the ground inbetween distributing! LOL). But the weeks that I am not, I am full-force looking down, and entering into serious prayer during communion time.
I always pray after I receive the Eucharist, but, I have to admit, that sometimes I become distracted......thank you God, for this beautiful gift......ooooh, look at her cute earrings!!! Nice shirt!!! Oh, look who's in church -- I haven't seen them in so long!!!
So this Lent has been VERY interesting for me. Somehow, we have nudged ourselves up to normally sit in the front pew at church. My whole life we have sat at the front of church, something Jim and I easily carried on when we had our kids because, let's face it, kids behave better in the front of church. They can see what's going on, pay attention, and, if you can get them to look ahead, there is nothing to distract them other than what's going on on the altar!
Kneeling in the front pew after communion has put a whole new perspective on things for me. I try to close my eyes, but I'm not really a closed eye person. I can for a bit, but then I must open!! So, I find myself looking at the floor. In prayer. A pretty awesome feeling, actually. I find that by not watching anyone, I am able to enter into such a deeper prayer. I love it. I have about 10 minutes (I would guess) of uninterrupted prayer time, while having the Eucharist within me! Awesome!
I have had an interesting thing happen, though. While looking down, the only thing I can really look at are people's feet. More specifically, their shoes. What a story people's shoes tell. Are they fashionable? Are they comfortable? New? Old? Men's? Women's? So many shoes. Although I don't keep track, it's interesting that you really don't see two pair of shoes that are alike. Of course, this isn't summer with flip flops and all, but still......
I find myself wondering where the shoes have been? What kinds of stories could they tell? Why did the person pick them out in the first place? I've been so intrigued, I can't wait until the next time I'm at church to see the next bunch of shoes and wonder about their story.
So what about you? How's your Lenten promise going? (I have to say that I'm still holding strong to no Diet Coke.....but that has NOT been easy!) LOL
Finally, I looked for a video of a song about shoes tonight. I couldn't really find anything that would work well, but did find this video that our girls think is so funny, so I thought I would share. It doesn't really relate to this post. At. All. :)