Romans 8:37

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors [hupernikomen] through him who loved us. Romans 8:37

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Interesting People

Today I was late arriving to "Blessed Odo's Parish". As soon as I got out of my car, I saw our USPS mail lady with her arms full of mail, and a slightly built man wearing a tie with his bible open standing next to her, waiting at the church office door. As I was hurrying to the office door, I imagined that the stranger was a street preacher evangelizing our USPS lady. I see her every Saturday morning right at 9:00am but I don't know anything about her other than the fact that she is very pleasant, always on time, and a person of few words. I had never seen the man with the tie before this. Behind them in our courtyard between the office and the church, a mentally-ill woman was sitting on a mat next to her shopping cart listening to very loud-top forty music. It was a typical morning at Blessed Odo's.

As I reached the office door I simultaneously heard: "Do you have any mail for me?" (USPS Lady) And, "You might want to call the police and file a police report" (Man with tie and bible). I apologized to the USPS lady as I unlocked the door, and gave the man with the bible, a confused blinking look, which I have perfected over the years.

After I exchanged mail with the USPS, the tie and bible man, now known as Ronald, explained that he had seen another man stooped over a large box of keys, and I might want to call the police. But that was peanuts compared to the stuff that I usually call the police about; so I wasn't much concerned. Ronald could see that I was in a hurry: Holy Eucharist was beginning soon, and I was the not-yet-vested-celebrant and no-notes-in-hand-preacher. So, Ronald, bless his heart, volunteered to go get the box of keys and show them to me. "Thank you." I replied and went in to vest. As I came out, Ronald handed me the box of keys, "Yes, they do look like some of ours. Thank you!"

Ronald followed me over to the chapel and suggested that we should arm night watchmen with paint-ball guns, so that they (himself included) could shoot ne'er-do-wells, and that would make it easier for the police to find them. "Hmm." I nodded without commitment. I could see that he wasn't joking. In my head, I was thinking, the person with the paintball gun would be arrested, or else shot with a real gun, and we'd be sued.

The "interesting people" often times are the "irritating people" to me because they interfere with my schedule, but the Lord keeps reminding me of how often he changed his plans for the sake of the people he was ministering to. I've also been mindful lately of Jesus' stern admonition to call no man a "fool" - the danger of doing so being the very fires of hell. That is a very serious reprimand. [Mt 5.22] So, I am working hard to ween myself away from those mutterings under my breath where I call people, moron, idiot, jerk, et cetera.

As I prepare to hit the "post" button, I recall that I just celebrated the Feast of the Transfiguration, and how much I continually need to be transformed into the image of Christ.  Lord have mercy!

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in . . .  - Jesus [Mt 25.35] 

1 comment:

  1. Men who go to work everyday, pay bills, and have a house full of teenagers like to end the day by hearing a simple human story. A story with an interesting character who has some mystery to him, some unresolved conflict, and a very human priest is what appeals to those of us who have read too much science and philosophy.

    Yep, a few years of blogging and you will have plenty of readers unwinding from a day in business to enjoy an interesting story.

    -Gimli (aka Patrick)