I had an amazing day today. Well maybe that’s not the right word. My emotions have been running wild. We got through Mother’s Day, now Father’s Day is here, then my birthday at the end of the month, not to mention 4 teenage girls and one preteen with all their emotions flying around. Add that all together and what do you get? Chaos.
In the midst of all this I got a call a couple of nights ago from my friend David asking me if I could take him to take him to run a few errands. He lives in a group home and is mentally disabled but was homeless and living in Motel 6 when I first met him. Many of you know him because he makes religious bracelets for a living and gives them out for free. Twenty years ago he lost his 2 year old daughter in a car accident and her birthday is this week. He’s feeling that and the pain of Father’s Day as well.
So I started the morning at my men’s group and then went to get David and take him on his errands. I thought spending some time with him would cheer me up and it certainly did. I took him to Michaels and AC Moore for supplies for his bracelets and then to ShopRite so he could food shop. We brought his dog Lucky with us because he doesn’t like to leave him alone in the house. So while David shopped, me and Lucky stayed in the car. Then I needed a few things from Michaels so David and Lucky stayed back while I went shopping.
On our way back to his house we passed an abortion clinic. I’ve heard of it before and know several people who go there to pray the Rosary but never went. As we were driving by, there was a lone young woman standing on the side walk with her Rosary hanging from her hands. I said to David, “She’s praying the Rosary! I have to stop!” So I pulled over, put my car in reverse and parked in a Walgreens driveway and told David I’d be right back. I left the car running and briskly walked to where the young woman was. I said to her, “I can’t stay long because I have someone in the car but can I pray a decade of the Rosary with you?” She said, “Absolutely! We are going to pray for two women by name today. The first one is a woman who has had 6 abortions. The second one is her daughter, who is in there right now getting an abortion. She’s 16 years old. And she’s doing it for the sake of education so she can continue in school.” My heart almost stopped. I just couldn’t believe it. So we began a decade of the Sorrowful Mysteries. When we finished I told her, “I have to go.” She said, “It was so good that you were able to stop and do this!” She held out her hand to shake mine and I looked past it and wrapped my arms around her and embraced her. She flashed a beautiful smile and I was on my way. It was amazing.
After I dropped David off I went to work at my church. I stopped in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel and knelt down and wept. I wept for my problems and my children’s problems, for David’s problems, for all my friend’s problems and for the people at the abortion clinic. I ended the day with another visit to the chapel full of tearful gratitude. I wanted to thank God for giving me some great examples of courage throughout the day – For David, who lives daily challenges that only mentally disabled people would understand. For the woman at the clinic who took time out of her day to pray the Rosary. For Jesus, who committed the most courageous act of love ever. But mostly, gratitude towards God for teaching me to begin and end my day with him and to turn to him in my times of need. I was reminded that we are all united by our struggles and our problems. And he put me with people this day so I could understand their problems. And by understanding theirs, I found relief from my own.