Friday, July 20, 2012

We are hope in the face of darkness

On Wednesday afternoon I was waiting for the bus at work when the dark clouds began to roll in.  The sky became light with bolts of lightning in the distance.  The hospital where I work is on a large hill almost like a small mountain.  It has views of the Hartford City skyline.  As the storm rolled in the wind began to blow the trees and more and more lightning strikes approached.  It was a strange sensation watching the storm roll in but have little control over whether it would hit before we made it home.  As we stood outside waiting on the top of this hill I began to speak with a women standing next to me.  As she was becoming more and more frightened of the lightening approaching she began to pray for protection from God. When we were able to get into the bus she sat down next to me.   The storm had been a wonderful icebreaker about faith and she mentioned that she had received a rosary when she was a child but that she had forgotten the prayers.  She had been wanting to pray the rosary for some time but did not know how to begin.  I told her I could send her a little booklet to explain how to pray the rosary and also include a children's Bible for her grandchildren.  As I got off the bus she said to me "now don't forget to send me those things".  It was as if it were Christ himself speaking.  Those words have been echoing in my head since I left her.  

It got me thinking about those movies you see where people are able to go back in time and if they change one very small thing the whole story is different.  -like that old back to the future movie.  I got to thinking that our own brief interactions with people however small acts like a bumper in a pin ball machine.  We can send the person in a whole different direction or if we miss the opportunity then they continue on the path they were on.  If we see a soul passing by, falling as a pin ball does into the hole from where the ball does not return. If we extend our hand and bump them up just for a moment might we save them from the hole that they might have fallen for good.  As I shared with you I struggle with patience with my children and pray for the gift of more love in my heart. Despite all the times when I feel like I am less than I could be I do take consolation in the moments when I did take a moment to interact positively with at least one person a day.  

The women I met on the bus had physical signs that she had a rough life.  Despite her outward scars I felt very strongly her heart was still gentle and searching for the Lord. She did tell me she misses going to Mass when she does not go. I had a feeling that this was an important moment in her life.  I thought of each day that goes by that she sees her mailbox empty.  When her heart wonders what ever happened to that person on the bus who said they would send me a letter and help me learn the rosary.  If the letter had never come would her hope in others be all the less bright and maybe one day blow out all together.  However, what would her face look like when she finds a box at her apartment.  A box with Bibles for her grandchildren, a rosary, and a prayer card explaining how to say the rosary.  Will she be surprised to also get a letter in the mail explaining that each Bible she received has a saint written inside that was prayed to by another family.  Each saint having been asked to choose a family to lead and that family that the saint has chosen is her family.  What will her heart say when she reads an invitation to her to pray the children's rosary novena for another family so another family can receive a Bible like she did with a saint inside to help her. 

Today I heard of the shootings in Colorado and the continued suffering in Syria.  One can think about this and become disheartened with the world.  Please do not lose faith or the bright light of hope.  Think about today.  Did you smile at anyone.  Did you encourage anyone?  Did you pray for someone?  How many people will have their life redirected even just a small fraction due to their interaction with you.  What does changing someones life by a small fraction mean.  It means a lot especially when there are ever growing number of others who will also redirect that person toward the Lord. Today despite all the sad news in the world I feel hope.  You all are hope to me. Each person that has written back from this blog and said something kind has lifted my spirit. Each family I see beginning family prayer brings more joy to my heart.  In a very real way you are all hope to me!!!  I pray that you all continue to bring the light of hope in this world. Amen.

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