Isn't it interesting the things our Dear Lord brings to us... in the events, the people, and the timing!
Yesterday I went and helped a friend with her home. She called earlier in the week asking for help to prepare for the arrival of family, and she knew alone she couldn't make any headway. She tried to prepare me... warn me... about the disarray, in her voice you could tell that she was desperate but at the same time giving me a way out if, just by her description, I felt it too overwhelming.
In our phone conversation a few things occurred to me... (and also the conversation with Daddio before I agreed to anything that takes me away from our home for an entire day with the boys)... what does our Blessed Lord tell us? Ask, and you shall receive... knock and the door shall be open... She called me, she was asking me, she came in all her insecurity and vulnerability and reached out. How can I refuse? If Our Lord commands us to do that with Him, shouldn't we also do that for our friends?
Needless to say, I agreed... she's a friend, she asked for help... I went!
I was prepared for what I was going to see and what was needing to be done... but at the same time I was unprepared for what I was going to be shown! I know, cryptic!
Overwhelmed, I think this term is used too often, even by myself. Overwhelmed is when, alone, you can't see your way out... my opinion is that to be truly overwhelmed is one step away from despair (which is a sin... because you have lost your love of God... learned that in confession by a wonderful priest who also said that the term despair is also used far to often and people have forgotten its meaning). For my friend, her home had truly become overwhelming for her... crippling in thought, and she had no idea where or how to start or if they should just bulldoze and start over. So I did what I could, I helped her form a game plan, and we put it into action. We didn't finish, which I am so sad about... but never fear my friend we will work an arrangement out, I'm not going to leave you hanging!
While cleaning, I looked around and had some very interesting thoughts.
--I wonder if God looks down on us, and thinks to Himself... I've given you this nice home, and what have you chosen to do with it? You let trash pile up, clutter is in every nook and cranny, sin is EVERYWHERE... every tool and good I've given you is lost among the piles.
--I saw in my own spiritual formation the same notion... Here, I've read tons of great works (working in a Catholic Bookstore affords you the time to read copious amounts of material), the knowledge from those much smarter than I is in my brain... but not being utilized... it is simply among the clutter of all the other things I have to get done in a day. What an absolute waste, dare I say a sinful waste of what I've been given in the way of spiritual food...
--What I saw in her home, is sometimes how my brain feels in general. There is simply too much there and it isn't organized, and there is so much trash up there that I've never chosen to deal with. How many times have I said to myself, I won't be like my parents were with me... and then turned around and done the very thing I promised I wouldn't do? Another great priest reminded me during spiritual direction that all our hurts from our past childhood can be healed, if we choose to heal them by using the Light of Christ to parent our own children. I've been told how to... but have I truly done it? Or is it just one more tool I have that I stuck in a box?
How fortuitous it was for this to happen in Lent... isn't this exactly what we should be doing? Examining our own lives... every nook and cranny. Taking everything out, and only bringing back in what is necessary! Owning up to our sinful ways, confessing (remember, this is a big one... check the catechism if you don't believe me), and being reunited in complete LOVE with our Heavenly Father as His own Son pays for those sins?!