Saturday, April 24, 2010

Because He Works Through Us

Today we have another reflection from our guest Julie Cragon of Nashville, Tennessee.  It is a powerful example of how Christ works through His children and allows us to be His partners in the "ministry of reconciliation" as "we are ambassadors for Christ, as if God were appealing through us." (2 Corinthians 5:18-20)

Guest post by
Julie Cragon
I was gently reminded today of one of my favorite prayers by St. Teresa of Avila
Christ has no body now, but yours.
No hands, no feet on earth, but yours.
Yours are the eyes through which
Christ looks compassion into the world.
Yours are the feet
with which Christ walks to do good.
Yours are the hands
with which Christ blesses the world."

I give each of my children’s teachers a card with this prayer as a thank-you note at the end of the school year. With all I see that goes on in schools today, I know that Christ works through these men and women as they witness to our Catholic faith. But this prayer also brings to mind an encounter this past February on a Saturday, when Nashville was pretty well shut down due to icy road conditions. My husband, Allen, and I ventured to open our bookstore  around 10:30 or 11:00, answer a few phone calls,  and wait on a handful of customers.

Our first transaction of the day was actually a return, so we started $3.48 in the red. We laughed  at the irony that we'd worried about a potential "loss of business day." Then a man came for a Baptismal candle he needed for Sunday, and he was glad to see that we had braved the storm to be open for a few hours. But the real reason God sent us to open for those few hours came  in the door a little after noon.
 A young mom and dad and two young boys, maybe 4 and 6, arrived and walked straight up to the counter. The young father said, "Let me ask you. We have a son in intensive care and I heard a story about a little boy being critical and getting well and telling his parents that he was going to miss the little boy who brought him back. What saint would that be? Would that be St. Christopher?"

This brought about story after story of different saints who protect and defend and about archangels and miracles. The couple never moved from the front counter as Allen and I went up and down the stairs for inexpensive medals and coins and holy cards and I told story after story. I was so glad that I had spent hours researching and writing the mini bio cards of saints so that I could not just show this couple the cards but tell them a little about the saints and angels.
The two young brothers stood there good as gold waiting for us to give their daddy something to make their brother come back home and play with them again. Finally, after about 45 minutes or so the family left with a little bag of a few medals and cards. But what they really held was a little hope. We were meant to be there that day if only for a few hours. This young couple and their boys needed to be in the quiet atmosphere of the store and amid God's peace. Allen and I had nothing to do with helping these people or their seriously injured nine-year-old son in intensive care. All we did was show up. And for that moment, it was enough. May God hold them in the palm of His hand.