A roach crawled across my foot in Eucharistic Adoration the other night. Nothing brings you into the present moment like having something you cannot identify suddenly crawl on the bare skin of your flip-flop clad foot. Until that moment it was just me and the Blessed Sacrament in the room, in silence, with me gently negotiating with the distractions that come with contemplative prayer. And a roach ambling towards my foot.
I jumped like the girly man that I am. And othen I said the coarsest word I have ever said in front of the Blessed Sacrament. Let’s just say it is the one word that statistically most often follows the words “What the…” Yeah. Not a good way to impress the Lord of Hosts.
In the heat of the moment I let the roach have the underside of the foot he had been seeking. And then I immediately I felt bad. I’m pretty sure it is not in the spirit of Eucharistic Adoration to kill things, even small things. I sat there for a few minutes watching the little roach twitch and wondered, you know, what would Jesus do and all that. Finish him off? Or let him continue to die a natural death? Being Catholic, I decided on natural death. But I still felt bad.
The poor roach gave his life to crystallize my focus in prayer. Maybe that’s why God sent the roach. Maybe he wanted to get my attention. And maybe he was just looking for some mischief and said, “Hey Peter, wanna see something funny. Watch this…”