Hi, I'm Grace Sanford, a Mercy Volunteer in Cincinnati, Ohio! I've been journaling every day…
On a recent spirituality night Sister Cheryl was discussing with us various facets of spirituality. She posed a question that was particularly meaningful, “What are some tools, activities, and ways that best engage with your spiritual growth?” I shared how I love looking for and being open to synchronicities in seasons of life. I think it is in the small moments we do something with intention–whether it is our own intention or sharing in someone else’s, that can often surprise us and remind us that life offers so much beauty, connection, and adventure.
As Mercy Volunteers, we are given a year of opportunities to seek and find new experiences. We then share these with our community and grow from them personally. As I was reflecting on our time in Cincinnati so far, Naiomi and I have already had many beautiful outings together. This includes visiting the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, walking through Over the Rhine’s historic district, the Cincinnati Zoo, street fairs, a cat café, Loveland Castle, and sunny fall days on the farm. The city permeates the scents and sounds of artistic vibrancy. The surrounding areas hold hidden treasures with quiet parks, landscaped gardens, and beautiful overlooks of the river city.
Aside from the various enjoyable sights and entertaining events that the city freely offers, I realize that we get to answer the call to seek and find. For instance, with community dinners both of us search out new recipes and get to eat with one another. We show gratitude for what the other person has put thought and effort into preparing. It has been a part of the week that I look forward to and really enjoy the result of. It shows me how my meals back home were patterned and that our community meals have given me fresh inspiration to put a little extra effort into trying new flavors. I have gotten to experience seeking and finding at Lydia’s House, the shelter I am currently serving with. Like venturing out into an unfamiliar city to discover incredible places and encounters, it also takes genuine intention of seeking out to build new relationships and find resources that can be of great impact to the guests we serve. Seeking and finding ways of doing life with more intention is what I want to continue practicing as I carry on during this service year!
Faith Casella Lopez: Cincinnati, Ohio