People see God every day, they just don’t recognize him.
A virulent strain of the flu has been overwhelming my family for the past week or so. It first struck my youngest, Zach. The next victim of said illness really was my Chrysler Towne and Country, which suffered a rather dreadful fate as child #2 inherited the condition on I-465, about 20 minutes from home. Within hours of that ugly incident, my husband, Tom, decided his most appropriate resting place was the floor of the master bathroom. While Tom and Drew lived the worst part of their illness, I was in the driveway taking a hose to the inside of my minivan. The realization that my stylish rubber gloves were a rather feeble defense against this bug was not far from my mind. Therefore, it was no surprise when I woke up feeling quite ill this morning at 2am.
My mind was filled with all the people I was bound to inconvenience with my illness today. I was supposed to drive my 2nd grader and his classmates to the apple orchard this morning. I emailed and texted apologies to school teachers and administrators, hoping they would get my message in time. I had committed to picking up Nick and and his buddy Grant from school and taking them to the last freshman football home game after school today. That was certainly out. I apologized as I sent an explanation and an alternative plan to Grant’s mom—from my pillow. I cancelled the orthodontist appointment. I cancelled the pitching lessons. I called on my friend Sara to take over my lunchroom “captaincy” for tomorrow. 400 kids will need to be fed, but I should clearly not touch their food. I sent a pathetic call for help text to my friend Donna offering $100 for two Excedrin.
Here’s the thing, though. God was with me all day long.
My parents woke up well before dawn and drove an hour to be here with Nick for Grandparents Day at Guerin Catholic High School. They did this despite the fact that I had called off their sleepover here in Indy, not wanting to expose them to our illness. As I rested in bed, too unwell to even say hello, I listened as my dad helped Nick get his tie on for the all school mass he and mom had driven so early from Lafayette to attend.
Despite his lingering symptoms and minor fever, my hard working husband went to work this morning. Feeling unwell himself, he nevertheless called to check on us, and he offered to take his lunch hour to bring us whatever we might need. My friend Donna not only brought the medicine, but she let herself in and delivered it right to my bedside. I think she might have been holding her breath the whole time so as not to inhale our germfest, but she was here. That’s love. The terrific 2nd grade teacher I so inconvenienced this morning sent me a get well note and a smiling photo of my baby on a hayride at the apple orchard. When I emailed a mom new to the our parish and school asking if she might be able to fill in for me in the lunchroom, she apologized that she was unable to fill in, but insisted she was bringing dinner for the family and that she would leave it on the porch. Two neighbors who have boys in Zach’s Monday night basketball, not even knowing I was ill, called to offer to bring him. I had just used up the last of my energy taking a shower, trying to figure a way to muster the wherewithal to make it downstairs to take him. My friend Sara checked in on me and alerted me that she not only would take over for me tomorrow but had found me a substitute as well. I could go on and on.
So, despite the rough start and the continuing fatigue, I know too this was a day filled with blessings. Nausea still has me in its clutches, but I see God loving me. Mother Teresa is famous for saying we can do no great things, only small things with great love. My family, friends, and faith community reminded me today of how completely God uses them as instruments of His love in my life. All those people are God-sends, I thought.
How idle it is to call certain things God-sends! As if there was anything else in the world.
St. Teresa of Avila, pray for us!