A messy child in a messy world

Doers of the Word
Sunday, Nov. 14, 2021              

A messy child in a messy world.

The rising cost of living; the pain of separation (individuals and nations); abandoned children; daily crudity and violence on television; immigration; supreme court decisions legalizing murder, violence on US streets, etc.  And if all that were not enough, nature itself seems to be out of sync: hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, flooding, global warming.

Are you sufficiently depressed with this Sunday’s readings?  All this is indeed bad news.  But we also call the Word of God, Good News!  This kind of sick list incites some people to actually embrace today’s gospel of a lightless moon and falling stars.  Some people are disgusted with so much evil – how much worse can it get?  And only God can clear up the moral mess and the sooner Jesus comes, the better.

But there are stories of grace all around us, God’s presence in the midst of pain, prejudice and disability.  Count your own moments of grace.

The mother and small child were waiting at the airport.  The mother had given the little girl a cup of orange juice and a cookie to keep her occupied.  Suddenly someone bumped into the mother who in turn brushed the child and the juice slopped all over her, with the cookie crumbs all over her face and front.  A woman who observed all this spotted the father who just got off the plane and was waving to his family.  He was neat in his nice suit, shirt and tie, carrying his brief case.  The woman thought, “No way is he going near that messy child.  He’ll stay his distance, peck his wife on the cheek, and take off.”

Of course, he didn’t do any of that.  He ran up to the messy child, held her against his white shirt, and whispered loving things in her ear all the way to the luggage claim area, he never stopped hugging and kissing her, stroking her hair.  Surely a reminder of God embracing the morally messy sinner.  A moment of grace in a messy moment.

Yes, there are terrible things going on in the world.  But faith people remind us that the hidden Lord is among us: Be alert for Him!  Watch!  He shows Himself in the most unexpected moments.