The other day I was talking to a friend on the phone. She’s been having some problems. I listened. I talked a lot. I hoped that I had helped her. But when I got off the phone and was driving on my way to an appointment, I became very sad because there were so many things that I forgot to say.
She knows who Jesus is. I know this because she was there for me and my family when we were experiencing horrific episodes in our lives. They came and went, but she remained my friend through it all! She was Christ for me when I was down and sinking fast. She was Christ for me when I worried about my kids. Christ showed His love for me through her actions and her witness. I hope she knows how important she was and is in my spiritual walk and life. I am blessed beyond.
But, I forgot to tell her that. I should have told her. I should have been a better friend. I forgot to remind her of our loving and merciful God. That God is still that Mercy that we all so desperately need. I am counting on His Mercy. And He will be always loving and merciful to our now adult children. Even when they are out of our reach and we have no say, His eye is on them like the sparrow. I should remember that too!
As parents, we want to hold on to them and keep them safe from the cold brutal world that awaits them. We’ve seen it. So, we do know. They think that we had no life before they were born. Boy, oh boy we all did! And it’s none of their business.
Our children are genuinely good people, each and every one of them, to their very core. They are all different from one another and so individually awesome! God knows that. He was there helping us raise them. He was there when they were born. He was there when they first scraped their knees and cried. Again, my dear friend reminded me of these things when I thought my faith was shattered. When my heart was on the floor and I didn’t want to pick it up again. Christ sent my friend.
Whenever I feel broken, and far away from God. When the world around me is loud and meaningless, God is there in the quiet. It doesn’t even matter if I see, hear or feel His presence. He is there. I trust that He is with my children too. They do belong to Him after all. He loves them even more than I do.
It’s hard to imagine His divine love because we are just so human. So, we must continue to pray regardless of our feelings. Let us continue to pray. Pray, even when you’re angry, and especially when you’re sad. Pray during moments of doubt and always pray when you’re happy. Pray when you’re making difficult decisions. Pray unceasingly! Your words may fail you, but He hears your heart. He laughs with us. He inspires us through the Holy Spirit! He even hides in our tears.
Our adult children are all over the place. Different states and cities. My constant prayer is that one day all of my children will attend Mass with me and their father. One Easter, a few years back, I arrived at Mass a little late. By that I mean that I was actually on time. It being Easter, there were very few seats left when the church bells rang. I saw an open spot and so I went to sit down. Just then, this older gentlman signaled to me that these seats were taken as he beamed with joy. He said, “My kids…”. I nodded, knowing that he was waiting for his three kids! I was happy for him. He was smiling from ear to ear. Easter Mass began in all its glory! There were beautiful lilies all around! Everyone was in their Easter best. There were people standing in the back of the church. Easter is the biggest day of the Church year. After all He rose!!! During one hymn, I turned to look in on the nice man. He was failing at his attempt to hold back his tears. You could tell that he didn’t want people to see his emotion. But I couldn’t help but notice, because I began crying too. His seats were empty. He had his hopes up. His heart was broken and so was mine. They didn’t show up! Everything in me felt why he was crying. I felt his pain as if it were my own. I turned my head back around because I didn’t want him to know that I felt it too. I prayed for him and his kids and for me and my own kids, my friends’ kids, all of our kids! God! Sweet Jesus, I missed my kids being there with us at the Holy Mass!
When that good man returned from communion, as I was kneeling in prayer, he touched my shoulder with his trembling hand. I melted in tears. I knew God was there and He knew it all. I’m reminded that God hears all of our prayers, whether we feel heard or not. But I did feel the presence of Jesus and His love at that moment. He’s always answered my prayers. Always! Sometimes the answer was, “Not just yet”.
God’s love and His goodness are constant. He’ll always be there for our kids. Just like when our kids are not there with us at Mass, we continue to think of them in love. God thinks of us and them in love, mercifully and constantly. We can count on His mercy.
We should be more like my friend. She showed up in the name of Christ for me. I’ll never forget her kindness and counsel. We can be Christ for our friends or someone else in temporal and spiritual need. We can be Christ for our grown up children and their children. The best that we have to offer God is to be Christ for one another. Through Christ, my friend taught me that. Perhaps I’ll tell her now the things I forgot to say. Right after I pray. Thanks Be to God!
Title of painting is Dusk at the Beach by Kathy Hatch