But again, I couldn't have been more wrong.
Let me say that Helen and I do everything together. We are deeply in love, with each other and together in our love for Our Lord. We professed as Secular Franciscans together, we pray together, go to church together, everything. You get the idea. What Helen is and does so much better than me is love. Her love for the elderly, the downtrodden, our brothers and sisters living on the fringe is an example for all to witness and follow. As for me I've always let her act as a buffer for me. It's something that has just evolved, possibly because I'm not as outgoing. I have a hard time on account of that inner wall that I built long ago, I don't even know why I did it. It's there, though, I can feel it. H has no such wall. She just is. So I've always had the luxury of her going first, and I follow.
H is up at M.V. getting the house ready for renters. We have a very dear friend, C, very spiritual, very catholic. He's a retired teacher and he's not been feeling well lately. He's wanted to go on retreat, up to the Maronite Monastery in Petersham MA but with his dizzy spells he can't drive the hour and a half. I told him anytime you want to go I'll bring you up and bring you back. He couldn't thank me enough, and he decided that this past Sunday I'd drive him up and pick him up on Tuesday. Well, he called yesterday morning saying he really didn't feel well at all, and he'd better stay home, which was fine, we'll do it again sometime. He then asked me if I'd like to come down for dinner, he has a bunch of leftovers that he'll never finish. Later that day I found myself sitting across the table from a man I only knew from going to Mass with or when he'd host a prayer gathering at his home. Always there were many people that would call for C's attention, but now it was only me. Me and a man who's health is not so good, alone and needing the love of a brother. I have to tell you, I was and still am completely unprepared for what God was asking of me. I never realized how hard and high I'd built that wall. I'd always thought that I was loving my fellow man. I always thought I was doing God's will, following his Son. I know now I was not giving enough. I'm still not giving enough. As we talked and ate I knew I'd gotten it wrong. I began to see the meaning of to see Jesus in everyone you meet. I'd hidden behind the towering presence of H all these years, taking the easy road. Now God is saying Here is my Son. Can you help Him carry His cross? And I'm lost. I have to re-learn how to reach out. Not to just reach out, but to reach out and take their hand, to help them up. As we ate and talked I had to literally begin tearing down the wall, the wall I'd built to hold in all my love, to not give it away. I knew I had to give it away, but I'd not known how. I still don't, not really. C shows so much trust and love to me. After we finished and cleared the plates we sat in his small chapel that he made and said a Rosary. Just me and a brother saying the Rosary, letting our voices rise up to heaven. Lastly, I moved some plants in for him, and did another chore or two. We agreed to meet again soon.
God showered me with many graces this weekend, and in my hardened state I'm still trying to absorb them. My wall will come down, I want it to come down, it's just that it's been up for such a long, long time...
My dearest Mother,
You are the way to Your Son,
the one whose hands are strong.
His love will help me
unbuild the wall.