This post has been in the back of my mind for a couple of months... And since nothing else seems to be in my mind... indulge me. It kind of feels a little bit like one of those "specials" in the middle of a season of Survivor...where they just hash over old stuff...with a couple of new scenes.
Last year, at the beginning of August, I was d.r.e.a.d.i.n.g the start of school. The previous year had not ended on a good note and the climate was just toxic. And so because I figured I needed all the grace I could get, and because it was probably just "time", I went to confession, bringing with me the fear and the mistrust of the coming year. I blogged about it here. My penance was so, so perfect. I know the Spirit works through his servant here. Pray, he said, for God to show you the good He wants you to become.
So, I did. It was simple, but I knew it would be good. What I didn't count on, was that God would answer it literally and quickly.
By the end of the month, I had two answers. One came in the form of a lady that attended daily Mass, sitting across from me. She was the unmistakeable sister of one of the people at work who was giving me so much grief. I thought it was a bit humorous, that God sent a visual aid to remind me to pray for the woman. But I had asked, "Show me the good You want me to become." And He did. "Pray for those who persecute you." This lady attended Daily Mass at our parish for several months, but eventually I stopped seeing her there. I asked her sister - by now we were on speaking terms - if she was OK. She said she was...but sometimes she liked to attend Mass closer to where she worked. But she was there as a visual aid when I needed her. She may never know what purpose her presence there at Mass served. (Remember that if some days you don't know why you are at Mass or you don't feel like you are "getting" anything from it. God may be using you to impact someone, and you have no idea how!)
The second answer was my red-headed co-worker. We met at our beginning of school faculty meeting, and hit it off almost immediately. She was a good 10 or so years younger than me, the extrovert to counter my introvert tendencies, the mom of three children under five while my two were entering the teen scene. She had been teaching long enough to know what she was doing, and to be quite good at it, but not so long that she had ceased to think she could make a difference. She did not accept "because that's the way we've always done it" as an answer and she did not accept less than their best from and for our students. She was a breath of fresh air for me, and I learned from her. And she was a friend. She was "displaced" at the end of last year, and I miss her dearly this year. I miss our secret knock, the someone to bounce ideas off of, and our lunchtime conversations. But I know that God sent her for a purpose. An answer to that prayer, "Show me..."
Lord, continue to show me the good You want me to become. Let my eyes be open to see it.