A surprise at the end of the pier make for memorable retreat
by Sister Elise Cholewinski
“This week shall stand at the head of your calendar.” That’s the sentence I write at the top of my journal page as I begin my retreat each summer. However, as I moved through my retreat this year, I was beginning to feel a little disappointed. For several days I had been intensely focused on the Sacred Scriptures, but I was at a loss as to what the Lord was really trying to reveal to me.
One afternoon, intending to meditate on the account of Peter walking on the water, I ventured out to the lake. I wanted to sit on the dock as I prayed. I was a little frightened because there are no railings on the dock. As I stepped onto it, I noticed a red-orange color just beyond the end of the dock, but I didn’t pay attention to it because I was focused on staying right in the center of the floor boards. I carried a walking stick with me, to maintain my balance when the dock shook a little with the incoming waves. The dock was long and I was scared, but I was determined not to turn back.
Finally I reached the far end of the dock. Sitting down on the bench, I heard a voice. “I’m glad to see that you made it.” There at the side of the dock was a man in a red-orange T-shirt, sitting in a kayak. I had never seen him! We talked for a minute or two and then he paddled away saying, “I just thought I’d hang around until you got there.”
I didn’t open my Bible that afternoon to read the story. It had already happened. The words had jumped right off the page. I had my take away from the retreat. This week shall stand at the head of my calendar.