Saturday, September 16, 2006

An Encounter

I really mean to update more frequently, but that last post I thought I had posted last Tuesday, when I wrote it, but for some reason it didn't get up there until today. But do read it if you're interested in the Nacogdoches CL Family Vacation.

As for college life and classes, it's all going very well and much more smoothly. I'm getting the hang of things and feeling more at home, though being away from home is still hard. But thank you all for all of your prayers and letters and everything--none of it has gone unnoticed.

This morning a group of us from UD went to an abortion clinic in Dallas to pray, and it was an amazing experience. With the excitement of school I had forgotten how much I love going out and interacting with other groups of people, like this, or at the Lord's Diner, or Abstinence Education over the summer. Even if just for one encounter, making the effort to be a presence is always worth it. You never know who you might meet.

Today at the clinic there was a young man carrying a little boy, maybe 2 or 3 years old. The young man was with his girlfriend, or sister, and the boy was apparently his son or nephew. But he was clearly distraught, and came to stand with our group for a while, as the young lady he came with was inside the clinic. He just stood there listening to us, maybe even praying with us--I couldn't tell--holding the little boy, and he became emotional as he talked to one of our sidewalk counselors. He stood there until the end of our rosary, and then went to his car to wait for the young lady.

I don't presume to know his story, or what stuggles he is going through with the girl and the young boy, but I do know that as he stood there with us, I was praying for him, and his family, and for the strength he needed to do the right thing. It's encounters like these that slap you in the face, in a way, and make you seriously question everything you think you know. No matter how bad you think you have it, someone has is worse, and when God grants you the grace of encountering those people, you are forced to re-examine your life, and thank Him for all the blessings He has given you, in particular the blessing of being able to meet these people.

Something I've learned that I think everyone should realize is that no event ever arrived without surprise, and an element of the unknown. Were the Jews expecting their God to become a man in the womb of a fourteen year old girl? Were they expecting Him to be born in a stable and grow up in the working class? Were they expecting Him to suffer and die a criminal's death? None of them expected this, and yet it was the greatest event in history. So we should learn to expect the unexpected, or at least be open to it. Events more often than not come to us as surprises--we do not expect them. But if we are open to them, they can be the greatest graces or encounters of all. Every event in our lives has a meaning, because they come from Christ, who is the Event of History.

Even when I am given these events, these encounters, I am always surprised by them. Because who would have expected to see Christ in the face of a young man at the abortion clinic? And who would have expected to touch the head of Christ on a sleeping three year old boy? No one expected it, but it happened, a great event of today. And that is why every day is precious, and why every moment should be lived fully, because we live for love of something happening now: the love of Christ, which is all around us, if we let it be.


JB said...

That's awesome.

I hope to have some pictures from the "Wash for Life" soon.

Take care...

riskitall said...

that is such a beautiful story!

W. said...

Thanks for writing that.