the last supper, san xavier

Last week I found myself in Tulsa, Oklahoma with a few hours to kill.

“Tulsa, Oklahoma, will a few hours to kiiiilllllll.” Sometimes the country lyrics of my life write themselves.

I checked in with a friend in Denver who went to college in Tulsa. He told me where to grab lunch, get in some shopping and most importantly – that I had to visit Sharp Chapel at the University of Tulsa.

Walking into the chapel, my shoulders were around my ears. I kept swiveling my head left and right, trying to get the vertebrae in my neck to pop, and those deepening creases between my eyebrows were begging for a collagen injection. It had been a long week. I’d driven more than a thousand miles between Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas for work, checking in on medical practices. I’d navigated several tricky situations and was by this point in the trip, simply put: dragging ass.

And then I looked up.

The stained glass at the head of the church caught my eye as though a million gems had fallen from the heavens. The carefully crafted mosaic of Jesus, holding a lantern, cast rainbows of colorful light down upon the empty chapel. Bright blue, green, yellow, orange and red light sparkled majestically. I took a deep breath, squeezed into one of the skinny pews and sat, mouth agape.

Quickly, I fell into prayer of thanks. Within a few minutes, my heart rate slowed. I felt my muscles relax and my tension melt away.  The sight was spectacular – a gorgeous combination of man and God’s creation. The light, the dazzle, the ability of the Holy Spirit to remind when to look up.

Up, up. When I’m in my work zone, it seems everything falls away. To focus and do my job to the very best of my abilities, at the fastest pace I can, I seem to be unable to also: get regular exercise, make smart nutrition choices, make time for prayer, and/or think of anything else than the task at hand. I become frighteningly focused on one thing – do this job, and do it well.

And yet, it isn’t this job – or any other, that will provide the happiness, balance and grace I so desire. Sitting beneath a shower of stained glass light, hearing the silence of the chapel, feeling my body respond to the return to prayer – made the trip.

 2 Timothy 1:6-7