I began this post last week, and I sit today finishing it from the waiting room of the hospital. While I was at the USCCB convocation this past weekend, my grandfather developed an infection where his last two tumor removal surgeries occurred. He had surgery again yesterday to clean out the wound and remove the infected plate. As I reflect back on our last forty-eight hours, I cannot help but think of how much I have experienced the gift of this week’s topic — One is Enough.
One person is enough to bring hope into any situation. Last week, I wrote about “treasured sorrow“. There is no doubt that the journey we are on right now as a family is a treasured sorrow. Yet, even on the hard days, the hopeless moments, and the scary times, light has come in, often in the shape of one person. Like the story I shared of my daughter Mary holding an Olaf (from the movie “Frozen”) flashlight that provided enough light for us to maneuver in the darkness of a campout, we have experienced the small gestures of holiness from women and men that are beacons of hope for us as we travel this journey such as:
- One of my long-time friends who is a priest making over an hour drive on the 4th of July to visit with my grandfather and anoint him.
- My grandfather’s best friend of over forty years sitting with our family in the waiting room bringing not only words of encouragement for the soul but also coffee and candy bars.
- The hospital worker who stopped in the middle of her day to check on us yesterday.
- The Eucharist minister who came in today and looked my grandfather dead in the eye and reminded him of how much God loves him and fills him with love from his head to his toes.
I am sure these gestures may not seem like anything special to these women and men, but to us they made hope real. They brought the concept of God with us into the concrete reality of our existence. They reminded us we are not alone as we walk this, and they often pulled my worrying restless heart into a moment of felt grace. They reminded me of why I can hope in the first place.
Jesus’ passion and resurrection are so much a part of our Christian story that sometimes we forget that what we profess and ground our lives in today began with one. Jesus was one person, and he was enough. Drawing on the same source Jesus did, so are we. I’m not saying we are called to the crucifix like Jesus. I am not saying we are in anyway the Messiah. We are not. Yet, we are called to be ministers of the Gospel, beacons of light in the darkness, and hope for the hopeless because we stand in the strength of the Holy Spirit. We are called and sent forth to make hope real with the same sense of urgency that Jesus sent his disciples out to spread the good news.
And guess what? Grounded in our relationship with God, strengthened and sent by the Spirit, one is enough to alter a hopeless situation. One is enough to bring light to a family who is weary from waiting as their loved one is in surgery again. One is enough to change the trajectory of someone’s life by accompanying them. One is enough to be courageous to not only begin conversations but to take bold actions that alter systems, institutions, and organizations.
Where, today, is God inviting you to make hope real? What hopeless situation do you notice around you? How is the Spirit strengthening you and readying you to be sent into that situation to be a beacon of light?
I invite you. No…I urge you, today, to stand in the power of your relationship with God, to say “yes” to where the Holy Spirit is sending you, and go bring light to where you are being called.
Scripture for Support:
- John 20: 19-22 // Receive the Holy Spirit
- 1 Peter 1: 3-6 // New birth into a living hope through Resurrection
- Ruth 1:12 // Even if I thought there was still hope for me
- Romans 15:13 // May the God hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
- Download the free Busy Lives & Restless Souls Leader’s Guide! This resource was created to deepen the conversation in small groups and help those facilitating the small groups. To purchase signed copies at a discounted rate that includes 4 prayer cards (Examen, Lectio, Prayer of Consideration, and Ignatian Contemplation), go here and enter the coupon code LEADER.
- Read my newest post on the dotMagis blog Praying when in Consolation
- Watch my interview on CatholicTV’s show “This is the Day”, where I discuss restlessness and prayer
- July 14th: St. Thomas More Parish, Closing Night for the Busy Lives & Restless Souls Book Discussion
- July 25th: Our Lady of Mercy’s Small Group discussion on July 25th
- July 29th: SJA Alumane’s Retreat. If you are an SJA alum, you can register here!
- August 24th-27th: Rosaryville’s Ignatian Preached Retreat: “Everything is Holy Now”. You can register on Rosaryville’s website!
Becky, I can empathize with your feelings in this heartwarming post. My prayers are with your family and with all your readers as we deliver our light to help someone through their particular darkness.
A friend said, there are certain graces you can only receive in the valley of the shadow of death. I guess these are some of them.