Have you woken up in the morning and felt like you must have swam across the Atlantic in your sleep?
When your feet touch the floor, you catch yourself from falling over?
Your eyelids decide to stay partially closed and the shower does not help?
I felt exactly like this when I woke up today.
Well, this morning I had Church at 8am.
My four hours of sleep wasn’t really cooperating with me.
But, thankful, I made it to Church and prayed for some energy to take part in the celebration of God’s awesomeness.
However, as the music played my eyelids became heavy. For the next 30 minutes I did everything in my power to fight it. My eyelids were bench pressing air and not successfully. Since I go to school far away from home, I usually am in Church alone. Therefore, I didn’t have one of my siblings or parents to give me the oh so gentle nudge with their elbow.
I was zoning in and out of during the Scripture readings.
I heard the priests homily and probably dozed off for a few seconds in between sentences.
I was not only tired, but extremely anxious.
I had a restlessness embedded in my limbs.
I had feelings of fear.
I had feelings of uncertainty.
I was being consumed with negative self-talk.
It eventually came time in the Mass for the Our Father prayer.
In some Churches people may hold hands, especially families.
But between strangers, it is rare.
As the prayer begins I am still in my head. I am not present. I am restless. I am doubtful. I am uncertain. I am scared. I feel terrible. I feel alone.
All of a sudden, as I’m putting my cold hand into my sweatshirt sleeve, I feel something grab it.
I look up, and see a woman in her late 60s, sitting two seats away from me.
She had the most peaceful smile I have ever seen before.
It was as if a force knocked me over.
It was as if I was lost and found.
It was as if my heart began beating with a greater force.
The moment she grabbed my hand I felt the weight melt away. My eyelids were no longer heavy. I was filled with energy. I felt a lightening bolt of peace.
When the prayer came to the end, I noticed myself hesitating to let go of her hand.
I felt I belonged. I felt out of my own head. I felt freedom.
As I was praying before Communion, her action was really getting to me.
I start to tear up.
The small act of love this woman showed me today, gave me all I needed. She reached out to a man who was alone, and reminded him of how much he is loved. Grabbing my hand was not the comfortable thing to do.
She chose to be uncomfortable so I would be comfortable.
This woman did not pay off all my students loans. She did not heal me of all my past hurt. Nor did she comfort me for hours with her words.
This morning gave me a lot of insight.
It reminded me that love is the energy. By receiving and giving love we are made new.
It reminded me of how many good people are out there.
It reminded me that being comfortable and a Christian doesn’t make much sense.
It reminded me that the smallest acts of love may make the greatest impact.
It reminded me that my neighbor is waiting for me. To hold his or her hand. To let them know I am here. To let them know that I care.
She held my hand.
And because of that act.
I witnessed the reckless love of God.