Be Like Will.

Ummm…Drew?  Did I hear the doorbell ring at 11:30 last night?

Yeah, Mom.  You did.   All you need to know is that Oby is an amazing friend!  I gotta go!!

Ok, then.  Have a great day, D!

The above conversation was one of those “I’ve got no time and I am running late so make it quick, Mom” moments.  Every mother of an 18 year old knows what I’m saying.  In this case, my middle kid had gotten very little sleep.  He had played his basketball game and gotten home about 10pm the previous evening.  He arrived home starving, so I shoved a sandwich and some apple slices at him.  Then, he hustled upstairs to work on homework.  I knew he would be up until all hours.  His academic load is significant— by his own choice.  He’s a bright kid and a hard worker but I do worry about him.  It’s a mom thing.  Is he getting enough sleep?  Is the insane IB homework load just too much?  Would it be better for him to have more time for just being a goofy kid?  You get it.  All of us who have kids constantly have this little interior chatter.

This particular day stands out to me, because as the day wore on, I learned more details about the late night visit of one Will Oberndorfer.  It was a God wink.

Apparently, in the new world of electronic everything, there are online quizzes and apps you must have operational, plus midnight deadlines for assignments….all sorts of things I cannot imagine as I compare my son’s academic experience to my own.  I don’t even pretend to understand any of it, and I am truly thankful to God that I was born in 1971.  Pencils, paper and dogs that ate homework were all actual things back in the day.  I digress.  Anyway, on Tuesday night after Drew had his sandwich and a shower, he began his homework marathon later than normal.  It was pushing 11pm.  Shortly after plopping down at his desk, Drew realized that there was a glitch causing his computer to be unable to run some application he needed in order to successfully complete a required quiz by midnight.  He texted his friends—the other crazy young people who are also up half the night, every night, trying to finish their own work.  He was wondering if any of them knew a way to fix the computer issue.  None did.  His friend Oby offered to let Drew come over to his house and use his working computer.  Drew didn’t want to bother his buddy so late.  He then just thanked his friends anyway deciding he would have to just take the zero this time.  He would take his computer into the Guerin Catholic IT folks in the morning for a technical assist.

Then, the doorbell rang.  It was 11:30pm.

I don’t want you to take the zero.

There was Oby.  He had an operational computer for Drew to borrow to take the quiz.

Was it just a small act of kindness?  Yes.  Did it feel small to Drew?  No.

This week, God used a terrific teenager named Will Oberndorfer to remind me, again, how we can all effect positive change in this crazy, wonderful, and sometimes breathtakingly desperate world.  It’s done one kind act at a time, right in the place where you live.  Simply put:  BE THE FRIEND EVERYONE WISHES THEY HAD.

If we’re all working to be the face and hands of Christ, pretty soon it’s going to be incredibly difficult to go anywhere and NOT see how much we are ALL deeply loved by our truly awesome God.

Atta boy, Oby!  You are the REAL DEAL, kid.

Spread love everywhere you go.  Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.  –Mother Teresa

Helping after the Fire

Kelly Hauschild, you are loved!

Bear one another’s burdens and so you will fulfill the law of Christ. (Gal 6:2)

Two days ago, I posted the following note on my Facebook page, and initially, it was emailed it to the 7th grade families at my son’s school, St. Louis de Montfort Catholic School (SLDM), in Fishers, Indiana.

 SLDM Friends,

 Over the weekend, SLDM teacher, Kelly Hauschild, who teaches 7th and 8th graders, suffered a house fire. She has a large family (7 in all) and they are now in a hotel until temporary housing can be secured. I am collecting money tomorrow morning in front of church before mass (I have a light blue minivan), and also in the narthex after mass for this family. In addition, I will be in the carpool line tomorrow afternoon (Wed. 14th). If any of you would like to make a contribution, I will add your generosity to our “gift card” fund. We are getting gift cards to a few restaurants as well as a superstore where she can get needed food, clothing, and household items as they are necessary in the next several weeks. I’m putting a short leash on the collection time frame so that I can get her the gift cards by Thursday. I realize that many of you have young children and haven’t met Kelly yet. As a parent of 2 children Kelly has taught the ins and outs of Algebra, Geometry and Religion over the past 3 years, I can tell you she is an outstanding and faith filled woman. I know she will be humbled and truly grateful for any support from the SLDM family. If you are unable to assist monetarily, that is absolutely fine. Your prayers will be needed and appreciated as well!! Feel free to pass this along to anyone you think who might like to help.

Now, it’s Thursday.  Help came.

Will $3000 worth of gift cards and cash magically solve the challenges faced by the Hauschild family?  Of course it won’t.  They have months of recovery ahead of them, temporary housing to locate, a home to rebuild and a Thanksgiving and Christmas around the corner that no longer looks as they wish and certainly not as they anticipated.

If you can’t feed a hundred people, then just feed one.  –Mother Teresa

A hastily gathered gift, given in love, will hopefully help bridge the gap until insurance paperwork and inevitable red tape leads to actual assistance, a temporary housing solution and life back on track.  Kelly’s co-workers and the administration at SLDM are collecting funds, and clothing is being gathered as we speak for the children.  When I saw Kelly and Jeff yesterday, her jacket covered in ashes from sifting through the damaged house,  and him with a harrowing story of escaping the house during the fire, I could clearly see there will be an ongoing need for help.  I am certain it will be forthcoming.

BUT.  To me, here’s the silver lining.

Yesterday, in ONE DAY, with no time to think, the amazing people of St. Louis de Montfort wrapped Kelly, Jeff and their 5 children in love.  They simply rolled down their car windows and emptied their wallets, no questions asked, to do what they can.

My beloved faith community– YOU were the face of Christ.

The Kingdom of God is among you. (LK 17:21). 

One of my favorite authors and homilists, the charmingly abrasive Fr. Larry Richards, said this morning via Twitter, “We are to bring God’s kingdom to everyone—He is within you so show Him today!”

And that is just what you did, SLDM.  I am so proud to call you friends.  Nicely done.

Prayers continue.