Back-to-back stories this morning on NPR about the play Our Town and about Pete Seeger brought me to tears – and reminded me of a vital practice in the “with-God” life: sacramental living.
Our Town, the iconic play by Thornton Wilder, is about the Webb family, an ordinary family living ordinary lives in an ordinary small town. Daughter Emily, who returns to earth for a day after dying in childbirth, speaks the best- known lines in this play:
“Goodbye to clocks ticking — and my butternut tree! And Mama’s sunflowers — and food and coffee — and new-ironed dresses and hot baths — and sleeping and waking up! Oh, earth, you’re too wonderful for anyone to realize you! Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it — every, every minute?”
The story about Pete Seeger follows this 93-year old folk-singer, who is also anAmerican icon, as he brings his banjo and his music to a local elementary school – something he does on a regular basis. His weakening yet still distinctive tenor voice accompanying dozens of young children singing This Land is Your Land is a riveting example of “realizing life while [he] lives it.”
Sacramental living is the awareness of the fusion of God into every moment of the day. It means training ourselves to remember that God is walks with us wherever we go. It inspires us to open our lives to God’s Spirit who empowers us to make every minute count.