Friday, September 22, 2017

Remember…With God, all things are possible

Our God is always walking beside us, helping us and guiding us. He still parts our Red Seas, multiplies loaves and fishes, and gives us what we need when we need it. I was reminded of that last Saturday.
I’m rarely in public, since ongoing cancer treatments zap my energy. Mostly, I’m homebound. But the sacraments are important, and last Saturday, I went to confession.
When I arrived, I was next-to-last in a long, slow-moving line.  
When there were only three of us left, I saw the lady next to me check her watch.  The evening Mass would soon begin. We wondered…would the priest have time to hear our confessions?
Finally, it was my turn. I approached Father Frank, confessed my sins, and listened to him prescribe an unusual, and for me, a nearly impossible penance: “When you see someone, smile at them,” he said. “Give everyone you meet a compliment. Say something nice. Be happy to them.”
Obviously, he didn’t know anything about my predicament. Fairly new to our parish, he had no idea that I was out-of-commission.
My repentance sounded tough. I can’t do that, I thought. I’m stuck in my house. I’m never out with people. How can I possibly fulfil that penance?
But time was running short and, knowing someone else was waiting to confess, I kept quiet. He absolved me of my sins, and I left.
Outside, I descended the church steps and looked up. Everyone was coming to the church as I was leaving. There, unexpectedly, right before me, was an old friend. Our eyes met and we embraced.  She’d recently moved to an assisted living facility and the adjustment was difficult. Naturally, I complimented her, encouraged her and laughed with her. Smiling, she headed into church.
Behind her, another familiar face appeared.  “How are you doing,” Lori asked. “Do I have to send you another get-well card?” We laughed.  I updated her regarding my health, smiled, and said how great it was to see her. I told her she was a beautiful, joy-filled lady and thanked her for her prayers. We both walked away with a spring in our step.
Seconds later, a dear friend and her daughter appeared. “I remembered it was both of your birthdays recently,” I said. “I didn’t get a card out, but here’s a big hug!” I embraced each of them, smiling. “You look beautiful.” I said. “Both of you.”  
Suddenly, I remembered Father Frank’s seemingly unattainable penance: “When you see someone, smile at them. Give everyone you meet a compliment. Say something nice. Be happy to them.”
Mission accomplished…the mission I thought was impossible.
Isn’t that interesting? In my brief outing, several people crossed my path, allowing me to fulfil my penance. Right then and there, God made a way.
This is what God does for us each and every moment of our lives. He’s always beside us. He’s always working little miracles. He always helps us.
Our God really is an awesome God.

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