Saturday, November 18, 2006

Pray for Misty...

Rich and I went to Beatrice today to take my cousin, Kathy, out for pizza and her Walmart birthday "shopping spree." She's 52, and had lack of oxygen at birth, and is very low functioning but a joy to be with and I always learn an important truth about God and his love for us from her "simple way." She's always overjoyed to see us and so thrilled to go to Pizza Hut. She's always smiling, and hugs me, and is so happy when we buy her her favorite food and get her pajamas and a bag of candy to share in her group home. It's always a lesson in Christian virtues for me, how patient she is, (most of the time) how expressive in her sincere thanks and her many "thank you's" to the waitress for refills and her pizza, and the clerks at Walmart. I am always humbled by her, and see how far I have to go and grow in becoming a "child of God." To delight always in the simple gifts and things like a child does. Being so dependent on God as she is on others to even help her dress. She can do so little for herself, and yet she does so much for me that words aren't adequate. Her simple way is JOY...and TRUST.

After our time with Kathy and on our way home, we headed east out of Beatrice to Tecumseh, and then up North on Hwy 50 (a favorite route of mine). It was so pretty with the late afternoon sun shining on and moving across the fields, making such sharp contrast of colors....bright golden tans and the blue sky kissing the horizon of leafless trees and the grays and browns and every now and then the deep burnt umber of some vegetation in and near the ditches. It was a great drive home. We decided to stop in Gretna and go to Mass. I'd never been to St Patrick before and it is a beautiful building. We went down close to the front, about 4 rows back. After our silent prayers, a woman came in and sat in front of us with a mulberry colored coat, medium length curly salt and pepper hair, and seemed sad. As Mass progressed, I could see and hear she was crying, with short, little sobs every so often. I could see her tears when we shook hands at the sign of peace. I started to pray to St Therese, Fr. Kevin Fete*, John Paul the Great, (for her somewhat palsy like shaking of her head, or possibly Parkinson tremor, which did seem to subside.) of course our Blessed Mother, to comfort, console her if she had a loss of spouse, child, grandchild, or whatever was her burden and the cause of her troubled soul.

I got the impression to give her my little Pieta prayer book before Mass ended. I noticed a fly or some winged insect had landed on her collar and showed Rich and we both sort of whisked it gently off her, she turned to glance at us, and I put my hands on her shoulders, smiled and whispered that there'd been a bug, but we shooed it off. She didn't say anything but looked down at her book....

As we started walking back to the narthex, I told Rich that I wondered if I should give her my little prayer book. I said, "She was crying." He said he noticed that, too. "Well, if you're being led to do that, go ahead." I looked back into the sanctuary to see her putting on her coat and slowly walking our way, so I waited a bit, and then walked back in toward her. I looked at her eyes, and asked, "Are you alright?" "I prayed for you just now." She took my hands in hers. "I prayed to St Therese for you." She gave a small gasp and said, "Oh, that's my Saint!" with surprise, and tears in her eyes. She told me she was there to make arrangements for her husband who had died. "I wondered if it was something like that, I'm so sorry." Then she said something I'd not been prepared to hear. "My husband committed suicide Monday." "It was such a surprise and shock to me." We hugged.

Then I started to cry, too, and gave her my book and said "Here, there's prayers in here for you." And she thanked me as I signaled for Rich to come meet her. She had told me in the sanctuary how she appreciated my husband's singing so loudly behind her. (And to think that SOMETIMES, I've not always appreciated his voice. I'm horribly embarrassed to admit that to anyone, because he's such a wonderful man. He does have a great joyous voice, just not always on or near key....and you know... musically to my ear, it's just a little "painful." Well, again, I was humbled, by another precious soul. NEVER again will I think that of his voice! Never! His voice was pleasing to this poor, sorrowful woman. I was chastised by God today and tonight and rightly so. Do you know how painful it is for me to confess this ugliness in me? It's a most ugly "critical spirit" that creeps in at times, and I NOW know how I'm going to fight it off...with fervent prayers to St Therese and Fr. Kevin! They are quite a team!

Her daughter then approached her in the narthex and hugged her, and she looked over at me and mouthed a "thank you." It was sort of surreal. To share in this deep sorrow, when we'd had such a fun day, and pleasant drive home. That we took the way we did home, and ended up in that pew, at that time. No one else probably would have noticed her tears, and if they did, no one else said anything to her, at least that I could see. Not that I'm patting myself on the back, you understand, but it was just a true GOD THING. Her name is Misty. She's probably in her mid to late 60's. Please pray for her soul to be consoled and for her husband's to find repose and rest.

She told me that at the sign of peace, "he always kissed me" and how hard it was for her tonight, the first time in church since his death. That made me tear up, as you can imagine, since that is what Rich always does to me. How very very grateful I am, for having my wonderful, loving, gentle husband. His love is so faithful and so loyal, to God and to me, his forever "hairy shirt." I hope to stop at St Pat's on my way to the Shrine Tuesday with a card for her. I will never forget her sad eyes and her silent "thank you." I only did what I was impressed in my heart to do. It was nothing but a simple prayer and simple little "gift" to one who was hurting so. I knew I couldn't have left the church without speaking to her. So I guess what I'm saying is, be observant, and let God always whisper to you during Mass, or your bible study or fellowship service, to reach out to someone - even if you're new there or visiting like we were tonight. You never know how God will touch you to touch someone who in return will touch you back, even in the depths of her sorrow, she managed a small smile....and how in a strange way it touched my heart and assured me of just how REAL and PRESENT GOD IS AMONG US.

Please remember to pray for Misty...her daughter and family at this horrible time of devastating and shocking loss.

* Father Kevin Fete was Dr. Ray's parish priest, of Little Flower Parish in Canton, Ohio. As you can see, that is why I pray to both St Therese and Fr. Kevin. I've been reading much about St Therese lately, and her sisters, and Father Kevin who died July 23, 2006, is now with her. I KNOW they are a team. He was priest of that parish for 10 years, and I just bet St. Therese was with him when he passed on to be with our Blessed Mother and our Precious Savior. I prayed for St. Therse to give Misty a rose tonight on her pillow. Please join me and ask her intercession for this dear, sorrowful gentle woman.

Thank you all,

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