Tuesday, October 20, 2009

When Errands Intersect With God's Plan

My daughter had an orthodontic appointment today. She finished earlier than I expected; so we decided to run an errand which I should have completed months ago. I need new glasses. I have reading glasses (that are absolutely necessary), but when I wear them, I cannot see anything at a distance.

Take Mass, for example. If I want to read the Mass Readings along with the lector, I must bring my reading glasses. Then, if I want to see Father (or anything besides the book in front of me), I have to take off the glasses.

The problem was most obvious when I gave my conversion story awhile back. I needed glasses to see my notes, but if I wore my reading glasses, I couldn't see the faces of the people gathered to hear my story. I compromised and printed my notes in a ridiculously-sized font.

A few months back, I had my eyes checked. I needed new glasses, but on the day of my check-up, I was told that it was too early for insurance to pay on the purchase. I have really good insurance. It was worth the wait.

Only one problem. I procrastinate - a lot. The anniversary date for insurance to pay out came and went.

Finally, I found myself in town and at the end of my "must do" list. I decided to drag my fifth grader along to the Clarkson Eye Store and pick out some frames.

Do you ever get wrapped up in your own life and your own needs and your own errands that you almost fail to see God's handiwork?

Well, I went in to the store and I wasn't sure if I wanted to spend the money. Walmart would probably give me a better deal . . . I was almost sure that I would pick up my prescription and take it somewhere less expensive.

After all, there's a recession going on.

But something made me decide to take a look at the glasses on the wall. Just see what they had. Get information for comparison shopping. And then come back if I felt like it.

And then I met Kevin*. He asked me what I do . . . what I would be using my glasses for . . .

I told him that I like to follow the readings at Mass, but when I look up at Father, I can't see anything clearly.

He asked a few questions that had me divulging my "job" - I write. I'm a Catholic writer. I read a lot, work at the computer a lot.

Almost immediately, he said his mother was raised Baptist. And then, after many years, she converted to the Catholic Church. Evidently, Kevin has a sister-in-law who is Catholic and one thing led to another.

He went on to say that he had studied the Faith for awhile, even attended RCIA. And then he met his wife, and they visited another church/denomination and that was the end of that.

But he still had a Daily Missal which his sponsor gave him. And a Catechism. And he still thought of that sponsor from time to time. He still remembered her witness, and how it had drawn him in the first place . . .

I could see it clearly then. I wasn't there for my eyes, not really. The reason I was there was in his eyes.

There are times when the Spirit of the Living God stops me in my tracks and says walk a bit slower, Denise, because I'm at work right now. You will miss the whole thing if you don't tiptoe right now. Shhh. I'm doing something special and if you are very quiet, you will be able to hear.

This man's saint is praying. Can't you hear him?

This man's guardian angel cleared a way for the two of you to meet today.

In fact, today's conversation is like a seed. And it must be sown with care. Look at his eyes, Denise. God is working here.

And if you listen, and if you say what I give you to say, something really wonderful might happen.

*name changed

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