After returning home from a business trip, Ed suggested we go out on a Sunday afternoon to take a walk around a local lake. It was one of those absolutely glorious autumn days that you want to just drink in and take advantage of.
He brought along his new camera so he could experiment. While he went off for a while to shoot some pictures, I sat on a bench at the edge of the lake to pray and to absorb this beautiful day through the sounds, the feel of the air, and autumn sunshine. I love this time of year. There is a different angle to the sun, and while still nice, it is cooler; the air feels crisp. The leaves are just starting to turn to brown, gold and orange, the Sumac becoming like brilliant red tongues of fire.
It was so peaceful! I waited for Ed and listened to some Canada Geese flying overhead, and other birds in the trees surrounding me. I became aware as if for the first time how—when a gentle breeze rustles the leaves—it is like a wave rushing toward shore. It would start in one tall tree, and then move from one to another.
The fall has always seemed like the beginning of the year for me, as well. Summer is over, and it is time for getting back to a more regular schedule.
In autumn, church activities start up again in the fall. Our church had Ministry Sunday a couple of weeks ago. Since the middle of summer, I have felt like I was being called to do something new, but I wasn't sure what. I wanted to continue with the same ministries I have been working with, but was there another way I could serve?
With that being on my mind lately, one night I awoke from a very vivid dream. I was in a beautiful church all in white marble. I approached the altar, and someone in white robes was reaching out toward me with a gold plate with a Communion Host in the center. I only saw the robes and hand, but never saw who it was. Shooting up from the plate were bright red flames, which stood out against the white as the only bright color. The fire didn't scorch the robes or hand of the person, and the host in the center of the gold paten wasn't consumed.
I know my mind was reaching for what I felt God might be directing me toward. I have been praying for guidance, believing that if God was calling me to something, He would move me in the right direction.
The second reading for this Sunday addresses how we should pray with trust and thank Him for the right answer for each situation: "Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which passes all understanding, will keep your heart and your mind in Christ Jesus..." (Philippians 4: 6-9).
Walking around the lake that beautiful day with Ed enjoying the time together, and appreciating the beauty of the day, I was again so grateful for all God has done in our lives. We have been through a lot over the years with my health issues, and it makes us appreciate simple gifts. That is one reason why now I want to give back where I can.
A friend of mine in Pastoral Care wanted me to meet with the new director of that ministry for lunch. They were thinking about how what I have to offer could be used in their work. They wondered if my experience with health issues in the past could be used to reach out to the community, in follow-up calls to those who are dealing with difficult times in their lives. They have been so busy that they couldn't organize such visits, and they needed help so these people would not be neglected. That appealed to me. Could this be where I was being directed?
Sitting by the lake last weekend, listening to the autumn breeze move the trees with each gust of wind while I prayed the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary, I thought of the Holy Spirit, and how he gently moves us to find ways to serve Him when we are willing.
9/29/2011 4:00:00 AM