Happy Feast Day - Saint John of God. I love reading about Saints, don't you?
I should say Happy Stormy Tuesday! We have already been in the closet this morning.
Picture this... we have a long coat-closet under our stairs. And when the tornado days come, we get to the back of the closet. In said closet is a comforter and a horse blanket (no it does not smell like a horse), water, shoes, bike helmets, lights that run on batteries, a weather radio, animals and whatever humans are home. Sigh - doesn't that sound fun? I really SHOULD get a picture.
So the topic of my post is Making A Difference, Loving Your Neighbor.
Throughout the Bible and in Church Doctrine, we can find examples of people loving their neighbor. Our Lord Commands us to in the Ten Commandments. And, we must find a way. We must find our gift to share.
I confess that I am not always great with other people. I get nervous/anxious in a crowd. I like peace and I am a people pleaser. This gets on people's nerves. Truly. You know it, I know it... I'm a work-in-progress. I grew up in a Military Family and I married a Military Man. When you grown up that way, at least back in the 60's-70's - it was all about helping one-another. Everyone pitched in. As I child I have such great memories of that.
As an adult, I don't always fit in. I have strong opinions. I have a big heart. I don't have an agenda. I wasn't raised by a woman and my brain doesn't play the same games and process things like a normal woman (so I've been told). It's all hard for me to process and wade through in forming friendships... I don't understand why people react the way they do... But my heart, I've learned to listen to it. And I don't let anything stop me from helping where I can... and being myself...which brings me to this...
Twice in the past month, women from the Altar Society at Church have stopped me to thank me for the cards I've sent them. For decades I have sent cards to people in need, many strangers, and I'm not often thanked because the cards go to strangers - it's not why I do it, anyway - but it was nice to hear that these cards really do make a positive difference.
I joined the Altar Society but have missed every single meeting this year because Marque has been out of town. I have done some volunteering at events, but we don't get to know one another well, that way. We get notices when people ask for prayer and I always ask if I can send a card. Most of these women I hadn't met when I sent the cards, but I feel they need to receive one.
One lady's mom is very sick. I sent a card telling her I was praying for her mom and for her. And when I ran into her, she started crying. She said the card made her so happy and it just really touched her heart. The second lady's mom was sick and I sent a card, but the next day she passed, so I sent a second card... and while we were volunteering the other day, I introduced myself, and she said she had been trying to figure out how to find me to thank me. She said that the knowledge that a stranger was praying for her was so soothing to her when her Mother passed. She was teary as she told me how it made her feel.
I don't tell you this to pat myself on the back. I'm not that person. God is completely and beautifully in charge of my doing this. He has put me in the position to get to know people in our Parish and make a difference and it's such a blessing to me.
Nice people aren't nice to be thanked. But it is sometimes NICE to be thanked. Does that make sense? It is a peaceful and loving feeling.
This year is the year of Mercy. Use your talents to reach out... make a difference... touch the heart of someone suffering (or anyone)... love your neighbor.
Finding Your Gift... My advice. Do what you know you are good at! We are happy doing what we love. If you knit or crochet, make socks, hats or scarves for the elderly, or homeless, or babies. If you are a baker, take cookies or baked goods to brighten someone's day. Take a group of children to visit the elderly. If you make cards - always send cards out. I have a friend with cancer. I sent her 30 cards. Now, she has cards to thank people who bring meals or whatever. It's that simple. Sing someone a song if you are a singer (ok, maybe if you aren't... because at least you are trying). You get my point. It's there. Find it! Share it! God will bless you for it!
I have stepped out of my comfort zone in joining the Altar Society and I may join another group too, I'm working on getting information. It's a Serra Group and it has to do with supporting Vocations.
Do what you can... Listen to God. It's amazing how happy it makes me, even on my most tired days...
Have a blessed Tuesday.
Praying for you all.
Love & Hugs,