Elevator Music

The offices for Catholic New York are on one of the top floors of the high rise in Manhattan—which means the elevator ride in the morning is pretty packed. Given the early hour, its generally safe to say that enough caffeine hasn’t been consumed by enough of the passengers. As I started this day, I counted myself among those numbers.


I was feeling tired, fairly grumpy and was considering giving up speaking to other human beings for the 40 days of Lent. Then I heard an odd sound—a really upbeat 1980s pop song. The lyrics jolted me out of my dour mood. “Straight up now tell me, do you really wanna love me forever? Or am I caught in a hit and run?” Paula Abdul sang. I immediately smiled and looked around for the source of the sound.


My smile turned into a beaming grin when I realized that the song was coming from the headphones of a gentleman standing in the other corner. I realized in that moment two very important things: 1. My Lenten lessons were already beginning and my first was that I had to seriously stop with the judgments. You see, out of all the people in the elevator, I did not expect the older, serious-looking man in the business suit to be listing to 80s pop music on the way to work. And 2. God was talking to me and has been trying to for quite some time and I haven’t been paying that much attention. I don’t know how else to explain it, and it may sound weird, but I’ve been asking God where He’s been as I look around my life lately, and I heard God’s love and answer coming through this morning in that song.  


Maybe it’s because spring is coming and I have a song in my heart (and stuck in my head)—but Lent is a time more than ever during which we can try to be more open and connect more to God.

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