surprised by a smile: a commute made better

This morning I was caught in that nasty rainy-ish weather that makes everybody forget how to drive. I grumbled for miles, put out by the misery of red lights reminding me that my 25 minute commute was going to be more like 45 minutes.

And then, this at a red light:

smile

I didn’t even care that the truck’s owner was looking at me in the rear view mirror while I took picture after picture — trying to get a good shot. He probably thought I was trying to get his tag instead of the best bumper sticker ever.

The message changed my mood immediately.

I’ve been working on a brief talk for my parish this week, and I’ve been reading Mother Teresa’s writings in preparation for delivering a 5-minute reflection. It’s all there, in the smile, and the message. I love that pop culture swipes its copy from the Saints.

Let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.
Mother Teresa
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Lenten Photo-a-Day Journal: Purple

3 down, 22 to go

I just finished the third book in my ambitious plan to read 25 books this year (for pleasure — I have other reading to do, too). I think it might have fit into several categories, but I’m going to go with music. For obvious reasons.

symphony

I haven’t felt so personally drawn into a book in a long time, and I regret that it has taken me over a decade to discover The Inextinguishable Symphony: A True Story of Music and Love in Nazi Germany. Martin Goldsmith’s account of his parents’ love story, intertwined as it was with the increasing dangers of the Nazi regime in Germany, and the beautiful expression of joy through music captured my heart.

Goldsmith tells his family’s story — a love story. A story of betrayal. Of sacrifice. Of humanity — with the inhumane backdrop of the Holocaust. The looming specter of death is ever-present, except in those places touched by music.

The title, the Inextinguishable Symphony, captures the heart of the story, and the heart of the lovers whose lives are unquestionably, a symphony.