I spent some time last week at our local art museum to view an exhibit of the paintings of artist Summer Wheat. This artist was new to me but I was drawn to the exhibit that features strong female figures in roles as hunters, beekeepers, and fishers.
I heard a story once of a little girl who was lost in the woods. She wandered around looking for the family she had been separated from, but she soon grew hungry and tired and lay down and fell asleep. All through the night her parents searched for her, anxious for her safety.
Years ago, managers at a small firm planned to honor someone whom they felt had served the community exceptionally well in the previous year. They planned to invite the person to lunch, offer him or her a lovely plaque, generate a little good will, and call it a day.
It was not going to be an easy day. Just two weeks earlier the family had gathered with profound sadness to bury my mother. We all knew she was the glue that held us together.
No one saw much potential in Billy. It’s not that the staff at the orphanage thought badly about him; they just didn’t think much about him at all. He seemed to feel comfortable floating beneath everyone’s notice—not getting in trouble but not getting much attention either.
”Awe came upon everyone” in the early Christian community, Luke tells us in the Acts of the Apostles. I saw that same awe come upon my daughter at Mass when she was a very young child.
When I think of strip malls, I think of convenience stores, dry cleaners, maybe a coffee shop. I don’t think of a facility with MRI machines.
There aren’t too many things more unnerving than shopping for a casket. Especially when you’re with the person who is going to be in it. When we walked into the showroom to pick one, I was so unsettled I felt a touch dizzy.
The truth of the Resurrection is a hard one for us to wrap our minds around. Death appears so final. Yet life in a family can give us clues to help us see and believe. One such clue came my way when my father was nearing death.
My dad had a knack for gathering in troubled souls, and my mom had a talent for nurturing them back to health. My parents’ charges didn’t always stay well, but at least they were offered a moment of sanity in the chaos of their lives.