I'm Glad You're Here
I did something today that was extremely emotionally painful. It took everything I had to muster the courage and energy to follow-through with my appointment with a nutritionist and trainer. But my body is not healthy and I know I needed to take this first step. Lost in my own headspace, trying to stave off an anxiety attack, I tried to distract myself by walking around the block before entering the office.
Coming around the block, I noticed there was a Catholic Church. And then I saw her - a woman who was standing at the foot of the stairs, looking at the church as if trying to muster the courage and energy to enter the doors. I don't know what her battle was (we all have them) but the look on her face mimicked the look on mine - fear, anxiety, regret, did I mention fear?
I wanted to go over to her and tell her it would be okay, that she would be welcomed, that there is no judgement in that place and that God is waiting with arms wide open. Just as I prayed I would find with this trainer - no judgement, just a warm welcome that says, "I"m glad you're here".
But then I wondered - as #AshWednesday is a short 24 hours from now, would she really find a warm welcome or will she find judgement and looks of impatience because she doesn't know or remember the rules, because she is sitting in someone else's declared space, because she can't receive communion, because....because...because.....
Letting that thought go, I walked into the office for my appointment suddenly looking for any reason, ANY REASON -from the room temperature to the way the trainer spoke to me- to not return. Looking back on it all, I wonder if this woman - or anyone who is returning to church this #Lent2019 - is in the same frame of mind as I, looking for any reason to not return, because it is too painful or too hard.
The good Lord knew I needed to have a good experience today; it's well past time to get healthy and I don't have time to waste. And I did.
I pray the woman waiting to enter the Church had just as good an experience today at mass. Something told me she, too, had no time to waste.