Mom/Spirit reminded me of her Presence again, last Sunday on Juneteenth-Father’s Day.

I was driving home after church, with Ben sitting beside me in the passenger seat. We were stopped at a traffic light just a mile or so from our house, when I happened to look out my driver’s side window which was rolled all the way down (… it was a gorgeous, sunny afternoon, if you remember … )

There on the sidewalk a stone’s throw away from Ben and me were two Filipino women, walking and talking beside one another. As I turned my head and noticed them, the older of the two women happened to look up from their conversation to see me gazing at her.

She smiled. I smiled. We locked eyes for a brief, beautiful moment, acknowledging each other’s presence. And in that moment of connection, I just happened to hear, to “catch”, the word in Tagalog she was speaking to her companion.

Sarap … (pronounced ‘sah-rahp’ … like “ahhhhhh”)

Sarap in Tagalog is what you say when you’re eating something delicious, that you enjoy and gives you deep pleasure.

But it is also a word that simply conveys any experience of deep pleasure … like basking in the warm sun on the beach (if you are a beach person) … or how you might feel after enjoying a much needed nap … or reading the most exquisite piece of poetry … or … (you can take it from here!)

And it is the one word that Mom would say out loud, when I would scratch just the right spot on her back, when she was too weak and unable to scratch it herself.

Sarap …

“How good This Is… how delicious This Is … how pleasurable This Is …”

Sarap …

It gives me deep joy and pleasure to share this with you, Beloved, today. Amidst all that is hard and painful and heartbreaking in our lives, our city, our nation, our world — the “not yet” portion of the “already/not yet” of our human experience — the Queendom is Here and Now and All Around, if we have but eyes to see and ears to hear.

Sarap …