October 01 is the Feast day of the Little Flower – St. Thérèse de Lisieux. She died on September 30, 1897. As I closed the day I read some of her words as a reminder of the Love that God gave to the world in this young woman of faith and the Love that God continues to give to the world. Thérèse de Lisieux died at a very young age of 24. She lived a short life and knew much suffering in her short time. At four years of age she lost her mother to breast cancer. That shaped and coloured her childhood which had much struggle left in it. She entered cloistered life at 14 and she bore witness in her short life of the need to overcome.
It was a curious and strange sort of moment tonight. I was reminded of Thérèse de Lisieux, because of the day it was. I read about her again because she always inspires me. Then I turned on some football – that often inspired me (except when the Lions play). There were Da Bears (I have grown to love Da Bears) beating up on the Cowboys. And ironically, there were Pro football players decked out in pink cleats, armbands, towels etc. all in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
The Spirit speaks through strange mediums at times. Satisfied with the score, I went back to the Little Flower and came upon these words of hers;
“May today there be peace within.
May you trust God that you are exactly
where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities
that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received,
and pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be content knowing you are a child of God.
Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.
It is there for each and every one of us.”
EXACTLY the words that I needed to hear/read. Sometimes working on God’s time and with God’s schedule is difficult. It is easy to become impatient with ourselves, and with the church for that matter, when things do not unfold or happen as we expect them to. Now don’t read too much into this. I am not suggesting that I am unravelling at the moment. At times I want all of God’s love and justice, mercy and peace, grace and forgiveness, to be abundantly present for all people and all communities — and it would be great if that could happen immediately – thank you very much! It would be great if communities could be made well – now! Illness cured – now! Stress relieved – now! Sadness gone – now! The hungry fed now! The broken-hearted restored – now! There is no magic bullet however. Time, prayer, and faithful presence are required in attending to God’s people. Oddly enough, it is in those difficult times, those waiting times, those being present times that we often see how God is at work in ways that we could not have asked or imagined.
So it was with thankfulness for love and for God’s revealing of that love that I contentedly closed the day. I said a prayer for all who struggle. I remembered those whose lives are marked by struggles with depression or despair. I remembered those whose lives have been turned upside down with illness. I remembered especially those who have had their lives changed because of breast cancer. I remembered those who have died, and those who have survived. I remembered them all to the God of Love and mercy and I concluded my prayer with these words of the Little Flower…
“If I did not simply live from one moment to another, it would be impossible for me to be patient, but I only look at the present, I forget the past, and I take good care not to forestall the future.”
(and I thanked God that Da Bears won!)