Hope from readings: Seek and ye shall find
As we age we certainly do become more forgetful. Losing something valuable can be very frustrating.
Usually my first response is, "I know I put it in a safe place!" The problem is: which safe place?
My husband, who has heard me say that for 58 years (long before I was old), teases me about my confident remark, but it simply means that I have faith that St. Anthony will get to work on the problem as soon as he can. Sometimes it is just an hour or two, but one time it was a whole year.
Lost and found
That was the time I was working in my kitchen and had to take off my glasses when the steam was too much. Of course, I placed them "in a safe place." That happened to be the counter in front of my kitchen sink.
Later I was taking down Christmas decorations, including multiple strings of lights. I set
them on the countertop right on top of my glasses. I must have shoved the whole mess into a plastic bag and put it in storage with my other decorations.
I searched for those glasses for months, prayed to St. Anthony, and did everything I should. I didn't find the glasses, of course, but I did get a lot of drawers cleaned out in the process.
It wasn't until the following holiday season that I untangled both the lights and the
mystery of the glasses. By then I had bought a new pair, of course. Now I had two pair with the same prescription, which is a good thing because recently I lost one of them again.
A friend of mine told me another story of lost and found. Her grandmother had put her precious diamond ring in a box and gave it to her husband when she was in the hospital. He promised to put it in a safe place until she got home.
He surely did! He placed the precious box high above the living room on an exposed beam. For 40 years that "safe place" went undiscovered.
Finally they sold the house and moved to another state in their retirement. One of the later owners tore down that part of the house and found the ring.
Fortunately, he was an honest man, who went to a lot of trouble to check out the history of the house and find the original owners. Can you imagine the excitement when that grandmother had her ring back after all those years?
Seek and you will find
I thought of these stories during Mass this morning when the school children were in attendance and the readings were adapted to their level. Father Bill gave one of his dialogue talks that drew the children in, asking what were the three things they were supposed to do when they had a problem or lost something.
One by one they answered the question: Ask and it shall be given, seek and you will find,
knock and it will be open to you.
That's it in a nutshell. It doesn't say just ask, but it demands seeking as well. We must
do our bit to clean those drawers and closets, sweep that floor, and remove that clutter. If we still don't find it, maybe God wants us to trust in Him.
Hope from Jeremiah
When I came home from church, I decided to check out those readings in adult language. In
next week's readings I discovered the beautiful words of Jeremiah (17:5-10) which seem to follow the same theme. I soon realized that the words apply not only to lost things, but to lost faith and hope as well.
Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose hope is in the Lord.
He is like a tree planted beside the waters
that stretches out its roots to the stream:
It fears not the heat when it comes, its leaves stay green;
In the year of drought it shows no distress
But still bears fruit.
More tortuous than all else is the human heart.
Who can understand it?
I, the Lord, alone probe the mind and test the heart,
To reward everyone according to his ways,
According to the merits of his deeds.
This is a comforting thought to those of us who are aging: losing some of our mobility or
senses, watching our children age and face some of the same infirmities. Thanks to our gift of faith, we are like those trees planted beside the waters (the sacraments?).
We need not fear the tortures of despair or the loss of hope. Our roots are deep and reaching out to the waters.
"Blessed are they who hope in the Lord," says the psalm.
We are, indeed, blessed!
"Grandmom" likes hearing from other senior citizens who enjoy aging at P.O. Box 216, Fort Atkinson, WI 53538.