At our retreat, a participant shared that she found God in donuts. All kidding aside, her memory, as a child was a five-year-old unrefined child who didn’t think that she was anything special. She somehow found herself inside a church and she remembered watching the people eating donuts. Perhaps, it was coffee social after a morning service. She felt awkward and hungry, but nobody looked down on her or said anything to make her feel unwanted. At one point, she noticed that people were putting money into a basket for the donuts, and she felt like a “bad little girl” for taking a donut. Instead, out of nowhere, someone placed a few coins in her hand and let her put them in the basket. No nasty looks or nasty comments, so these must be God’s special angels.
Life can be messy and maybe you have memories about your past in which you felt awkward, out of place, someone who didn’t belong, or worse you had no one in your life that made you feel special.
One of the topics we discussed at the parish retreat was: “Life is Messy.”
For example, when a patient was told that they have cancer. You walk out of the doctor’s office and your head is just spinning, and you realize that nothing else in the world has changed. Life goes on and everyone is just going around their business, going about doing their thing. Nobody knows what you’re struggling with. Yet in reality, we’re all struggling with something. A tough childhood where no one made you feel special, or you suffered the humiliation and shame of an injustice that still haunts you in your dreams.
It’s important that we realize that everyone’s carrying a heavy burden. It’s important that we realize everyone’s struggling with something. It’s important that we realize that everyone is fighting a hard battle. Because when we do realize that, we treat people differently. That means we surrender our tendency to judge others, to gossip, or put other people down.
We are challenged to see one another as Christ sees us, women and men who are not perfect but in whom God has limitless love. Sometimes, we even need to see that in ourselves.
Lord, I pray for all my Sonshine Friends that they learn to be gentle with themselves because you got your own struggles. And give us the grace to be gentle with other people, because everybody is fighting a hard battle. Life is messy, but nobody can take your hope from you. So hold onto your hope no matter how messy life gets, and share it with everyone who crosses your path.