Poland Springs

The knock on my car window was swift. I turned my head in surprise to see a woman anxiously trying to get my attention. Like me, her hair and face mask were dripping wet due to the deluge of rain hitting the Boston area for the first time in weeks. For a brief second, I feared the worst. “Had I hit her car with my shopping cart?” I wondered. My fears were soon allayed when she pointed to a case of water that I had mistakenly left at the bottom of my cart. Then, to my amazed, rain soaked eyes – this little woman lifted the case of Poland Springs water and placed it through the window of my front seat saying “have a good day.”

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After the shock wore off, I tried to catch her in order to offer my deepest thanks but the rain was falling too hard and I simply could not locate the kindly woman in the busy Boston parking lot of the grocery store. My prayers and fond remembrance of her will have to suffice.

When I was listening to Fr. Peter’s homily this morning from St. Clement Eucharistic Shrine in Boston, my mind was drawn back to the image of the rain soaked woman in the parking lot. Fr. Peter was commenting on the ways that God likes to surprise us in life. He was saying that God intentionally keeps part of his plan for our life hidden from us. He does not do this to be mean, rather he does this because he loves us and wants to be in relationship with us. God knows that perhaps we would not seek him out if everything were perfect in life. I found this revelation to be helpful in so many ways. I admit that I do turn to God in prayer more often when things in my life are difficult. And it is during those times when God is closest – he responds to my need through the kindness of a friend, the love of a family member and even through the help of a stranger.

I invite everyone reading today’s short blog to consider how God is speaking to you today. If life is difficult – as I know it is for many Americans – keep your eyes open for the messengers in your midst. These folks bring God’s love into our lives and remind us that all will be well. This is how I felt after my encounter with the woman in the rain. I had just left PT and was down due to the constant pain. I have an upcoming set of injections to help ease the pain and was feeling that I could not do it again. The strength of the little woman in lifting up the case of Poland Spring’s water reminded me that I am strong – like my dear mother Joan – and I can do all things through God who strengthens me. So can you! Keep your eyes open and keep talking to God – he is there and he will respond.

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