Proverbs 19:17 Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will repay him for his deed.
Yesterday, I was just having a bur or two under my saddle. I overslept and missed the Latin Mass we had planned to go to; one thing led to another, and we were on track for 8 PM Mass at the Cathedral across town. It's a beautiful building, but there are some human things inside that really distract from its beauty, and underwhelm the Mass as well. (We like the priest; it isn't him.)
Anyway, the bur under my saddle was just rubbing me the wrong way, but I was managing not to let it get to me. That is, until we got to the Church. Then it went wrong. No parking, no parking assistance, and it's not an area I'm that familiar with. They will tow you if you are parked in the wrong spot. The security guard did his best to annoy me, both when I asked him where to park, and when we finally were making our way to the Church, and it was like he was trying to argue with me about his directions (which were not good). I didn't initiate the conversation, but kept on going, as now we were late for Mass. ARGH. I much prefer being early, and we had arrived in plenty of time essentially. It was hot inside, I was cranky, Mass was starting, people were talking all through Mass, being disrespectful, the acoustics were impossible..........oh how I could go on!! (I promise not to go on, so read more after the break!!)
But I kept trying. Through my frustration, through the burs under my saddle, through my distraction, no matter how hard I tried...... Not that long ago, I'd have turned tail long before I made it into Mass, too angry and/or frustrated to be there.... It's easier just to give up. But I kept trying, instead. I asked God's forgiveness for my anger and frustration, for my distraction (I had a letter written to the parish in my head already about the parking situation!!!), and just tried to get out of there without combusting internally. It's easier to participate in Mass when you're in a happy or content place. For me, it's very difficult to get through Mass in that mood and feeling, and being distracted. All I did was keep trying, and asking Him for Grace. Did the frustration ease? I don't think so. My dear sweet husband had to listen to me trying to vent peacefully for quite awhile, too long!
As we left, we encountered two visitors to our city and the parish; we had a very nice conversation with them. They were in town for a group meeting that I do not support, and actively dislike and disapprove of. I have great disdain for this organization as a whole and what they do, and I personally think it's detrimental to their own cause, and to the cause of unification of all races in this country. Given my feelings about this organization, many would have been surprised at how nice and welcoming I truly felt for these two ladies who had attended Mass with us. They were a blessing to me as well.
As we left the downtown loop, two people asking for money/help were on the side of the on-ramp. Without even thinking, I grabbed the money in my car, gave it to one of them, blessed him, and kept on going. Kept on driving and kept on venting.
Last night, before falling asleep, I was perusing my Facebook, and Christian quotes pops up with: Proverbs 19:17 Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will repay him for his deed. Although I follow their page, I rarely see their posts (Facebook algorithms, ugh!).
But that was a perfect quote for me, at the perfect time. I really felt God speaking to my heart, telling me he was proud of me for trying, to continuing to do what was right in the midst of my own inner frustration and turmoil. That I shared my gifts from Him, spiritually and monetarily, with others because it was the right thing to do. That my true heart, my giving heart, my generous heart, my loving heart, my Godly soul and spirit....it still shone through and did what was right. I didn't take it out on others, not even my husband.
I'm not sharing this to brag about how nice I was, or giving I was. For if anything, it was God that was in me doing those things. My human nature was being quite cranky!!!
We're not perfect. Our Mass participation, our mood, isn't always going to be perfect, or easy. But I really feel like God was telling me that He noticed, and that He appreciated what I was doing, just to be there and that I was trying to be the best 'me' I could be at this celebration. It's easier to participate and sing joyfully and give thanks when everything is going right. But praising Him in our storms (yes, I realize that this was a small one, compared to many) is even more important.
Thank you, Papa, for living through me, and guiding my heart and hands even when I don't realize I'm listening. Thank you, Papa, for giving me a sign so that I would know and remember it was You who has changed my heart. I'm so far from perfect as a person, my Lord, thank you for making me whole. Thank you for the consolation of that Scripture verse, at the perfect time. Help me to honor You in all ways at all times. Bless these ears and mind, that I may always hear you, even when I don't realize I'm listening. Thank you, my Lord, for the gifts you have given to me, and the ability to share them with others. Thank you, Papa, for being able to see You in all moments, in all things.