Franny and Zooey are the most sophisticated pilgrims I have ever had the chance to stumble upon. And the job of these pilgrims, of all of us, is the journey. The seeking, the wanting, the longing.
But what if what we’re looking for has been here all along? What if the real journey is to discover that the divine is all around us and within us and before us and behind us and never ever apart from us?
Franny and Zooey embark on a journey that leads them to discover that what they’ve been searching and scratching and scrambling toward has been there all along.
Zooey says to Franny,
“If it’s the religious life you want, you ought to know right now that you’re missing out on every single…religious action that’s going on around this house. You don’t even have sense enough to drink when somebody brings you a cup of consecrated chicken soup–which is the only kind of chicken soup Bessie ever brings to anybody around this madhouse. So just tell me, just tell me, buddy. Even if you went out and searched the whole world for a master–some guru, some holy man–to tell you how to say your Jesus Prayer properly, what good would it do you?
How in hell are you going to recognize a legitimate holy man when you see one if you don’t even know a cup of consecrated chicken soup when it’s right in front of your nose?”
Zooey’s right. If we can’t hear God in the whisper, how can we hear Him in the storm? If we can’t see God in the minutely beautiful, in the mundane acts of love and life and service and hope, how will we see Him in holy temples and mission trips? How will we ever reach a state of praying without ceasing when we can’t even partake in communion clothed in chicken soup?
We are in such constant need of reminding that every breath is proof that there is magic and every bowl of chicken soup is consecrated.
The job of the pilgrim is the journey to discover the Christ, the wonder, already among us.