As I was sitting with my husband at Mass last Sunday, the love of Jesus enveloped me while witnessing a loving family’s interactions. I am sure their living testimony touches many hearts each and every day, and I wanted to share it with you.
The first time I noticed them, was when I heard an exuberant boy’s bellowing voice piercing the silence of our congregation before Mass. He was excitedly greeting church members as his father was guiding him, with his walker, to his seat toward the front of the Church. Their walk up the aisle was slow, due to his disability. At the time I would guess that this child, who radiated joy, was about 10 years old.
Fast forward about twelve years. This family continues to be a beautiful testament to the love of Christ. Do they stand out as “the perfect family”, always smiling angelically and always doing the “perfect” thing? Not at all. I watch his father guide him slowly toward his seat, with a staunch look of determination as his son is attempting to converse with each person he passes. I watch his mother, who is already seated, help him out of the walker and holding both of his hands, ease him to his seat, which isn’t easy due to his size. However, it is very clear that he is a blessing to his family, as they are a blessing to him!
There are no visible halos surrounding them as they lean over, hug, and whisper to their son when his voice gets too loud. What a blessing this whole family brings to me and to the Church! It is impossible to miss the love this family has for each other. Their decisions made every day, to love and care for each other, no matter how difficult things may be from time to time, glorifies God in a beautiful way.
So many times I hear and see instances where a person or family is elevated by many for being “blessed”. We tend to equate blessings with so called “good things” in a person’s life…the earthly…the outward appearance. Such as the glow from families who were blessed financially, who seem to do all the right things, have status in the community, have children that are thriving in their education, volunteerism, and extracurricular activities, and seem to have it all together. All of those things are good and hopefully are blessings. However, sometimes looks can be deceiving.
Sometimes the greatest blessings can be found in adversity. They can be found in the day to day struggles. They can be found in a family who have literally given their lives for the care of their loved one. Sometimes those blessings are disguised as difficulties, and are accompanied by frustration, impatience, and fatigue.
The true blessing is always found in open hearts. Hearts that place all their trust in God, and give thanks in all things. Hearts that pray, “Let it be done according to Your will.” Hearts that are so open to God’s love, that the Holy Spirit fills them to overflowing.
That love is what I witnessed in that special family on Sunday. May God continue to bless them, and may He open our eyes to the true blessings in our own lives.
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6
Saying, Father, if you be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but yours, be done. Luke 22:42