Thursday, July 19, 2007

Provoke One Another to Good Deeds

Pat G. waited to talk to me. She wanted to explore a recent experience as she felt God had sustained her as she faced fears and possible oral surgery. Quietly, humbly, she began her story.

"When I was five years old, I was hit by a car. My face knocked out the headlight of the car that hit me. I lost all my baby teeth. This required extra trips to the dentist over the years and the long term result was a BIG fear of needles."

She pointed to a small scar by her mouth which I had never noticed because most times when I have been with Pat G. her face has been full of expression. Joy. Smiles. Interest in the people around her. Alertness to her Lord.

Several years ago, she needed oral surgery and had a "very bad experience."
But for the last 15 years she has gone to a dentist she really trusts and finds both competent and caring. They have a warm relationship. Then one month ago, she broke a tooth on a raw carrot. She feared another trip to an oral surgeon might be required.

"I don’t often pray for myself– but I needed help. So I began praying to God."

Indeed, those of us who know and love Pat G. have asked to be included in her prayers. We know she is a prayer warrior. Of course, this is not a description she would find comfortable. Yet, hour by hour, Pat G. is praying for someone– a family member or friend, someone in our parish or one of the residents of Cedarbrook where she volunteers.

She prayed for almost 14 days until she saw her regular dentist. Hers was not the oldest of prayers – "Help! Help!" but one of faith and confidence.

She says, "My prayer was ‘I trust you God. Can you put that same trust in my dentist? A shared trust that you will get us both through this?’"

When her dentist first looked at her x-rays, he turned to her and said she needed an oral surgeon. Then Pat G. told him about her fears and her prayers and her trust in him and in God.

He looked at the x-rays a second time. He let out a big sigh and turned back to her. He said, "If you feel that strongly about all of this, I am willing to do my best."

There is still some wonder and awe in her voice when Pat G. says, "And there was no pain. Together we did it. I listen to my favorite music by Il Divos - love songs that I know by heart. No pain. But I’ll won’t eat any more raw carrots."

Then she adds, "And now I know that my faith is strong enough to know that the Lord moves mountains."

Reported by Canon Shallcross
With Pat G.’s permission

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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Bearing One Another's Burdens

So, I'm pondering...
When I walk the puppy, I take my cell phone, the front door key and baggies for cleaning up after Maggie Jo.
I know. I know. More than anyone wants to know.
But hear me out...
Inspired by Ken Noguci I am thinking about carrying an extra bag.

Here's the train of my thoughts which left the station during the scripture readings Sunday in Church.
Right there-- separated by just two sentences-- Paul covered all the bases in the reading from Galatians.

Bear one another's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
For all must carry their own loads.

Good ole St. Paul. No word left unpenned.
What's a woman to think?

With that tension in mind, I settled in to read the Sunday newspaper and the Sunday comics.
And there it was right under Hagar the Horrible....
The Kid City feature was on "Trash Mountain".
It seems that since Hillaray and his Sherpa Norgay first climbed Mount Everest in 1953,
there have been over 3,000 other ascents of the Himalayan mountain.
The Japanese climber Ken Noguchi has led five expeditions to pick up the trash left behind.
In the last few years, he and his companions have collected 19,800 pounds of tins, tents, and old food. Yipes.

I remember taking walks with my Grandparents to get penny candy or ice cream at a Mom and Pop neighborhood store about four blocks from their home. They were scrupulous about putting our wrappers and soiled napkins in our pockets to carry home. Littering was a big no-no. We would pick up the occasional bit of litter we might chance upon.

My Aunt and Uncle who live in the L.A. area take a morning walk. And as they walk and talk, they pick up litter. Lots of it.

That covers my maternal and paternal sides of the family. So I guess it's in my DNA.
And an extra bag will have to go on the canine outings.

L. +

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