God at Work


God at Work     

It’s been a challenging week.  It’s one of those times when, while nothing extreme is happening, it’s just the volume of life coming at me.  Throw in some nagging health issues and you have the recipe for a bit of a funk. 

Then I stopped in at church today because several weeks ago I promised our pastoral associate that I would meet with the group that received sacraments at the Easter Vigil.  I had prepared a presentation and got there early enough to spend time in prayer near Jesus in the tabernacle, so I thought that I was ready and I was trying to get geared up for it. 

I bumped into our business manager who said that someone was hoping that I could baptize their baby on 6/15.  Celebrating baptisms is my favorite blessings of being a deacon.  “Of course I will!” 

Then, just before heading down to our meeting room, our office admin pointed to a purple cloth bag on top of the mailboxes and said, “someone dropped that off for you”.  I grabbed it with one hand, but after feeling how heavy it was I had to reach out with my second hand so as to not drop it. 

I tried to hurry down to my meeting, but a gentleman who was also in the office followed me out into the hallway.  I recognized his face, but he wasn’t anyone I have ever had an in-depth conversation with.  “Deacon”, his big voice echoed in the empty hall.  I turned back towards him.  “I wanted you to know that my wife and I really enjoyed your homily this weekend.  It really rejuvenated us.  We talked about it all the way home.  I told my wife that I bet not enough people give you positive feedback, so I told her that the next time I saw you I was going to let you know that we just think you do such a great job.”  He pumped my hand hard and turned away beaming a big smile. 

When I got to the meeting room Mike, our pastoral associate was seated on one side of the table and a teenager was seated across from him.  I recognized her as someone who was baptized, confirmed and had received her First Communion at the Vigil.  Mike introduced me to Nazareth.

While I was very happy to meet Nazareth, I was also thinking, “Just one?”  I drove all the way into town for just one?  I knew that the group should have been larger.  Also, was expecting some of the adults, and I have had more than my share of stressful experiences with disinterested teenagers, so it was initially an emotional  letdown.  But it didn’t stay that way.  It took some coaxing but Nazareth started talking.  The more questions she asked, and the more she had follow-up questions the energy in the room increased dramatically as I felt the Holy Spirit smiling at her level of interest.  We had a very engaging and delightful conversation.  As I blessed her, I certainly realized that she had blessed me.

I drove home feeling better, came in and plopped that purple cloth bag on the kitchen table.  I opened the attached card which was really just a single sheet of folded paper.  There were no pictures, no color.  The writing was simple printing with a pencil.  It said, “Happy belated Birthday!!!  I hope this brings back fond memories!  P.S. No school tomorrow.  We are blessed to have you!!  Thank you”

I pulled the drawstring loose to see several dozen king-sized Oh Henry and Milky Way candy bars.  Not only were the birthday wishes special, but it was obvious that whomever it was from, had taken the time to read my Embers blog post, Generous 2/28 that spoke about why that date was special to me growing up; they took the time to buy those particular candy bars and they were quite generous in buying the big king-sized candy bars and in filling up the bag so full.  To know that someone took the time to listen to what I had to say and act on it in such an intentional manner to do something special for me, was humbling. 

Even though I was trying so hard to let myself wallow in the challenges of the week, God kept breaking through.  “You are loved.  You are loved. You are loved.”   

Thank you all His messengers; thank you, God!

His Peace <><

Deacon Dan