Have you ever felt as if: (Multiple choice)
- You were caught in the middle? (i.e. your husband and your son are both accusing you of favoring the other.)
- No matter which way you turn, you hit a wall? (i.e. your car is rolling down the driveway toward your garage door and you are in a heated argument with your husband. The last word or the door—which is it?)
- You are reading an article by an author who seems to have some major issues going on in her life. (Actually, I made all this up. I am perfectly in harmony with everyone in my life.) [A slight exaggeration.]
So where am I going with this? Good question.
Enter my perfect little world.
One fine fall day I had nearly all my ducks in a row. I was preparing to go away on a trip, checking off one by one the items on my list. Then the call that changed it all: a neighboring parish was allowing the Blessed Sacrament to be exposed for periods of time with no committed adorers present. Would I go and fill a spot later in the day. If someone didn’t cover, the priest might shut the whole thing down.
Oh. I guess you could say that was the rock. What else could I do but throw it back?
Why do I have to do this? Nobody shows up? Aren’t there some responsible people in that parish that could take care of this? … Besides, isn’t there something called subsidiarity involved here? I don’t think I should go around fixing things that are none of my business. They have a pastor. He should take care of it.
There. That took care of that.
I had another friend (I have only two, I need myriads) that was upset about how this was affecting her life (call this the hard place). She had been filling in at that same church for two years and had never felt like she could leave adoration, even when her house was burning down (another slight exaggeration). After talking to her, I had a feeling the pastor was going to get an ear full and that he may very well shut it down. So where did that leave me? Right smack dab in the middle: Rescue or Wreck.
It didn’t take long for guilt to settle in. You know how it is, all of a sudden you are in a fog bank. And it’s all on you. I must be selfish. Poor Jesus is sitting over there all by Himself and I don’t want to go. What if somebody kidnaps Him?
That cycled for a while until Wait a minute! Maybe I can pass this guilt on to my husband. “Sweetie, I have something to ask you.” Why didn’t I think of this before?
His answer was encouraging. “Why do you want to go back over there? You were just there this morning for Mass. I think that’s crazy.”
Well, there you go. Submission. I have to obey—at least this time. He’s way smarter than I thought.
But there was still the issue of my other friend. I could just see her electric blue eyes all ablaze for love of Jesus. She knew what it took to launch an adoration program. She knew that one little slip could sink the ship. “The Blessed Mother wants us to get this going,” she said very convincingly, as if she had just talked to her. “The more adorers, the better.”
I could feel the rock closing in. Now what? Well, I did what any good girl would do when she is in the Red Sea between two large walls of water.
- Tell God “I can handle it on my own.”
- Tell God “I might need a little help.”
- Tell God “Hey, I know this boat’s going down, but I’m going nighty night. You’ve got this, right?”
Actually, I did #2. And then I did # 3. I plunged like Jonah to the bottom of the sea. Aha, I got away!
But then God did #4 (not listed).
Whoa! All of a sudden, my brain rebooted. My eyes shot open and I saw it.
“You saw what?” you ask.
“How God Sees Things.”
“Really?” you ask.
“Yes… I saw that God was pleased. God was consoled. As a matter of fact, He was ecstatic.”
And you ask “What on earth was He so pleased, consoled and ecstatic about?”
“Glad you asked that! Simply this, God was pleased, consoled and ecstatic because He had two really good friends: one aligned with his justice, caring about the offense to his Holy Presence and the lack of theirs (presence—but you knew that); the other aligned with his mercy, caring about getting as many souls as possible to love Him much more intimately than they had ever loved Him before.”
“And what is your part in all of this?” you ask.
“Well, it’s like this. I’m still between a rock and a hard place. But it’s okay. I just have to pray. I have the distinct impression that God will work out the details.”
“And you don’t think you are a spiritual slacker by just sitting around praying?”
“Nope I don’t. ‘The fervent prayer of a righteous person is very powerful’ James 5:16 says (NABRE).”
“That’s not the end of the story, but it’s a good beginning.”