Our congregation is fond of the saying: “Providence can provide, Providence did provide, Providence will provide.”
Recently I came to appreciate this saying in an unexpected way, when a group of other young sisters and I participated in a half marathon. Although we prepared together by designing t-shirts for our “nun run” (Team 13.nun… get it??) and having a pasta party the night before, we were all planning to run at different paces. I had never run a half marathon without a buddy before and wasn’t thrilled about running alone.
As I found my place in the starting corral on race morning, I heard someone call my name. I turned around to see a guy I had met almost five years ago at an orientation for our international volunteer programs. We had spent two weeks together and gone off to our respective countries of service and hadn’t seen each other since.
“So, what are you up to these days?” I asked him. “I’m a Jesuit now,” he said. “How about you?” “I’m a Dominican!” We shared an incredulous laugh. We discovered that we were planning on running at the same pace and agreed to start out together.
We ended up running the entire course together, and up until about mile 11 (when we were too winded to talk), we caught up on each other’s lives and vocations. We laughed about community foibles and agreed on words like surrender, deepening, freeing, and joyful to describe our discernment journeys. Before I ran off to cheer the other members of Team 13.nun through the finish line, we exchanged email addresses and promised to pray for each other.
I still can’t believe that out of 12,000 people I ended up next to him that morning. I was hoping for a running buddy, and Providence gave me much more: a companion on the journey.
How has Providence pulled through for you, in big or small ways?
Sr. Christin Tomy
St. Louis, MO