No need to wait for God -- He's already here
I have taken a lot of photographs over the years. I have a few favorites. An old man is in a park in New York City. The park is barely what might pass for a park -- it is a small space carved into the corner of 57th Street and, I think, Seventh, maybe Eighth, Avenue.
There is the old man, sitting on a metal chair. He cannot see so well and is reading a newspaper that he holds very close to his face. Some pigeons are on the ground in front of him. Maybe they are waiting for some bits of food from him.
He does not seem to notice them, absorbed as he is in his newspaper. He does not see me, either, as I take his picture.
A pretty woman sits on a trunk. She is a performer in the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. The trunk is a prop -- it looks like a treasure chest. She is wearing red boots and stockings and a pirate-like costume. A bandana is on her head. Her hands rest on either side of her, on top of the trunk.
She has a lovely expression on her face, a look of expectancy. Maybe a look of hope. But she is waiting for something or someone, perhaps a cue to carry on her performance.
A young man is sitting on the sidewalk. It is West 41st Street and his back is against the Port Authority Bus Terminal. He has a cellphone to his ear. His backpack is next to him, on the ground.
He looks so relaxed and is seemingly oblivious to the frantic pace of Manhattan as it moves, pulses, races all around him. He found his connection and was enjoying it.
A young woman is sitting on a train platform in Montclair, N.J. She is waiting for her train. She is wearing a short skirt and she, too, is talking on her cellphone.
I am just a few feet away from her and I take her picture. She looks at me and smiles and then turns her head, continues her conversation. She looks happy.
In Brooklyn, a woman waits to cross a busy street. She is beneath an elevated highway, waiting for the traffic to ease up, for the light to change. I take her picture. She is a few blocks away from the hospital where I was born, where Mom finished her nine months of waiting for me to arrive.
These are among my favorite pictures. Scenes of the everyday, just like those any of us pass all the days of our lives. They are of people waiting, hoping, reading the news, waiting for a cue, hoping for a train, waiting for a light to change.
Life is a waiting kind of mystery. We wait for it, through it, on it. There is no getting around it. There is no speeding it up, bringing forth a last thing for which to wait.
We wait for one special day, and then awake to be ready for the next. All moving toward something, someone. Moving toward a final and lasting home.
I think I will call these, my pictures, Easter pictures. For I know that the people in them await a light that has already come, making everything bright and holy, and, yes, well worth the wait.
Father James Stephen (Jeff) Behrens, O.C.S.O., serves at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit, 2625 Highway 212 SW, Conyers. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.