Do you ever feel like you’re walking along, flowing through life, then someone says something rather profound, and you really feel it hit you? I don’t think that this is uncommon. For instance, as we are working through grief after the death of a loved one, a song, a smell, or a comment can easily transport us back to thoughts of that person. We think that we’ve bundled up that grief, packaged it tightly, and stuffed it into the back of our mind. Then that comment or thought floats across the surface, and it’s all brought back full force. Maybe slightly dulled, but definitely still there.
A few weeks ago I heard some very disturbing news from a family member. They were physically hurt, their immediate family is really struggling, and they do not see a clear path out of their problems. First of all, this breaks my heart because I love them. Secondly, I live 1,300 miles away, and can’t be there to give them a hug or try to help in some way. Other family lives nearby, so they aren’t alone or uncared for. But all I could do was call, listen, and pray for them. And of course, worry.
That worry must have been weighing on me more heavily than I realized. Sitting in Mass two weeks ago, Fr. Charles did something unusual. He paused before the consecration and asked everyone to “Place all your worries and troubles on the altar, and offer them as a sacrifice to the Lord.” Whoa! That hit me like a ton of bricks! And it was obviously the reminder I needed to quit my needless worrying. The tension in my shoulders eased and my heart felt instantly lighter. Tears sprang to my eyes and I tried desperately to blink them away.
How often does God put someone in your path to help you see things in a different way? How many reminders does it take for you to remember to pray and put your troubles in God’s hands? I can’t magically make everything better for everyone I love, no matter what I do. I can certainly do whatever I can to help, and I can definitely pray. But I need to remember that what I really need to do is to put it in God’s hands. To offer it up as a sacrifice to Him.