After a six-month visit, Ambassador Hen and her family will be returning to Lisbon at the end of the month. Here is a Frizzle Chick story from when I visited her in 2010 and thought a lot about worship. Enjoy! – Momma Frizzle

St. Jeronimos Monastery, Lisbon, Portugal
In a brown leather journal my husband gave me one Christmas, I finally wrote my first entry while sitting in St. Jeronimos Monastery in Lisbon, Portugal.

St. Jeronimos Monastery, Lisbon, Portugal

Grand worship, quiet reflection, beautiful surroundings. I am conflicted by the worshipful artifice and the worldly realities of politics and power. I am mindful that such quietude gave birth to radical discipleship, but also ever-mutable shifts in power.

 

I long for purity, knowing that my own motives are far from singular. I am not much different than these monks of St. Jeronimos Monastery. Serving the Lord in the daily tasks of living, sometimes worshiping in manufactured means. How glorious when our means and end are truly, only holy.

St. Jeronimos Monastery, Lisbon, Portugal

In the meantime, the earthly task of cleaning, ever cleaning, continues. Where I sit upon a marble bench along the lower cloister, a cleaning lady mops the floor. Scents of lemon solution blend in the air with the multilingual voices. We must clean even holy places, subject as they — and we — are to decay, dirt, and death. Always cleaning, not yet pure completely.

St. Jeronimos Monastery, Lisbon, Portugal

Later, I saw the cleaning lady put her mop and pail into what was once a confessional. An apt supply closet, I thought, since neither bucket nor booth can eternally purify. For such a feat as that, I need a Savior, not a perpetual cleaning crew.
About the Author
I'm one frizzled momma finding adventure and delight everyday...and writing about it! My chicken coop is full of six chicks, lots of friends, tons of books, and plenty of work. Stick around, I've got loads of stories to share.