Mad for…Tina

The greatest saints, those richest in grace and virtue will be the most assiduous in praying to the most Blessed Virgin, looking up to her as the perfect model to imitate and as a powerful helper to assist them. -St. Louis de Montfort

This is a beautiful photo of my friend, Tina Zimmerman. I ran into her this morning while I was at St. Vincent Hospital, where she is a chaplain. That was all the nudging I needed to realize I was meant to share a little about her today. I truly cannot think of a warmer and more faith-filled person for this compassionate hospital role, and I am absolutely certain that when the Lord called her to this position, she accepted the challenge out of obedience, with our Blessed Mother’s “yes” to the Lord as her guide. That’s simply how Tina rolls.

Tina is the mother of 6 fantastic grown children, and the wife of a pretty terrific guy named John. Also, she’s a grandma to some of the luckiest kiddos around. Loving, upright and constant in her love of the Lord, Tina is the person I know who most reminds me of our Blessed Mother, Mary. She oozes generosity of heart.

Writing about her goodness overwhelms me a bit and challenges my desire for a degree of brevity with these daily entries. Tina is witty and lively. Also, the distressingly long list of examples of the witness of faith she shares with all in her path make it burdensome to choose just a couple. She’s done so many things which inspire in MANY a desire to do more for others. For instance, she’s spent considerable time over the years taking in foster babies, newborns, for the first 60 days of life. Imagine volunteering over and over again to go sleepless for 2 months…long after your own children were well past this age? She’s been on countless mission trips to serve the needy in Brazil. She’s offered insane amounts of her time and talent at her parish, and she’s given counsel to many a friend in need. That includes yours truly.

When I was at the lowest time in my life, when I just really didn’t even know what to say to Jesus, and I was certain I just wasn’t enough, she encouraged me to pray repeatedly, “Jesus, I don’t know what I need, but You do, please help me.” Guess what? He did. I’ll always be grateful.

What makes Tina truly special is that her presence is a reminder to all just how much the Lord loves every one of us. God uses her, over and over, with her soft spoken voice, her quiet prayerfulness, and the works of mercy to inspire in others how beloved each of us is to Him.

Tina? I love you, friend. Today, my rosary was for you.

Faithful friends are beyond price; no amount can balance their worth. (Sir 6:15)

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