With the state of the world these days things have gotten pretty hectic with Bill's work. You know, trying to keep the country safe and all. He's been busy and preoccupied and his mind is on some heavy stuff. There hasn't been much time for the two of us to really sit down and connect. I'm not sure he noticed this, but because I have had some things weighing on my mind lately, I really wanted to have a meaningful powwow with him.
This morning we were able to spend some quality time talking up in our room. Not so much a heart-to-heart, but more of a heart-to-ear conversation. He did a great job listening to me as I spouted off my list of concerns.
Concern #1: In a nutshell, I told him how I've been plagued....and this is going to sound crazy...by NOT having a heavy cross to bear. Even though I know this should please me, I see that I have been blessed by a charmed life, while others have been asked to handle some unbearable things. Illnesses, heavy work loads, worry, and even tragedies. Whether it's people I know or hear about on the news, it seems there is heartache everywhere. I have found that I keep wondering what my/our cross will be and it has me out of sorts and paralyzed with fear of the unknown.
Another concern (#2 for those keeping track) I brought to Bill was this new era I am in; the kids being in school full-time and wondering where I will mostly be "of good use."
Fast forward two hours and I find myself in a pew at church. The Second Reading was short but caught my attention quickly. It read:
I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God,
to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice,
holy and pleasing to God, your spiritual worship.
Do not conform yourselves to this age
but be transformed by the renewal of your mind,
that you may discern what is the will of God,
what is good and pleasing and perfect.
What a difference some perspective and a good bible verse can do! And it always helps when our parish's beloved Father John quotes St. Francis DeSales with his "Be who you are and be that well" line.
I was reveling in the significance the Second Reading was for me and wasn't paying much attention to the gospel and homily. But then I heard the priest speak of "our crosses." (I was thinking, "Okay, who wire-tapped my bedroom?) He told the story of a monk who went looking for a cross to bear. (We are always searching for something, aren't we?) He never did find it, but when he returned home he found a small crucifix there on his pillow.
In today's gospel, it reads:
“Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself,
take up his cross, and follow me."
Follow Jesus. There was my answer.
Let Him lead me. Another answer.
That's all I need to know.
The series of events that lead me to listen to that homily and reading on this day after that conversation I had with Bill was nothing more than Divine Intervention.