Stop everything and read this. It will make your day. Really.

From Rebecca Frech at “Shoved to Them,” a testimony that will make you see everything differently:

The older kids and I went to a different parish for Mass last night. The events of the day had run longer than expected, and by the time we realized it we were too late for the 5pm Mass. A quick Google search led us to the ugly parish that we had studiously avoided when we moved here two and a half years ago. We were so turned off by its modern architecture that we never even gave it a chance. In doing so, we missed something truly special.

When we walked into the narthex last night, we were immediately greeted by an energetically friendly man who pumped our hands and loudly welcomed us. He hugged me and loudly exclaimed “I’m so happy to see all of you!” He then turned to the people coming in after us and greeted them in the same overly affectionate manner. While it was obvious that he had some degree of mental retardation, it was equally apparent that he was a regular fixture at the door and that no one minded his being there….quite the opposite, in fact, everyone who walked through the door seemed as delighted to seem him as he was to see them.

I watched for a few moments to see how long it would take for someone to slide along the wall and duck past him to avoid his embrace. It never happened. Young children and old women, teenage boys and moms balancing new babies, everyone smiled at his greetings. I didn’t see annoyance from anyone as he showed off the Special Olympics medals which hung around his neck. He showed them off proudly, as he had obviously done many times before. The ribbons were dingy with wear, but his joy for them was undimmed and his audience didn’t seem to mind.

We walked into the sanctuary and sat in the vacant second pew. We were still kneeling when the door greeter sat triumphantly in the pew in front of us. He turned to look at me and smiled. When I smiled back he gave me a thumbs up and turned back to the front. He prayed then, a little loudly. I glanced at the sour-puckered-lips woman on the other side of the aisle, certain that she would be frowning. She wasn’t. She was smiling at him with the affectionate look of a beloved family member…

Read it all.  Share it.  And ponder anew what the Almighty can do…

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