December 10, 2013
The Coming One
As anticipated at Convento San Antonio, Nicaragua
There’s a scent of rain riding low beneath the clouds. Over me it drifts as they slowly unfold above the orange tiled roof of our friary and the mountains around us. It smells like spring, but spring has since passed on—here they call it winter. I call it spring because that’s how it smells, that’s how it tastes—cool and moist, heavy like the showers that fill our gutters and water basins, yet gentle like the flowers hanging loosely in my hands, frustrated by my delay. “You have till the bell,” I say staring into the sky, not minding the flowers.
Yes, true to form the scent of rain precedes the rain itself, and the clouds go from cotton to graphite grey. Aside the chapel I watch them stealthily stretch across the city and over the valley into which it is neatly tucked. The world below seems not to notice as they carry on their sweep, unperturbed at the sounding of the vesper bells. “Okay, five minutes,” I said, “I’ll give you five minutes.” I fix my gaze in a specifically unspecific location somewhere between the cotton and graphite shades. I’m looking for the Son of Man, hoping today’s the day, hoping he may beat the rain.
Standing there in the paseo, it felt like a long time; it felt like an eternity. I never saw him in the sky that day. In fact, the only one coming, it would seem, was the evening shower. But I did see him soon enough—not in so dramatic a way—but he came to us that evening like he always does, and I brought him the flowers I had picked in a vase for the altar, and I said to him like I always do, “in the end, whenever you do come, I want to go with you.” And that’s where we left it. That’s where we always seem to leave it.
+ Br. Joseph Michael Fino, CFR