The following recounts an event in my life about two years ago. It had a profound effect on my faith and my outlook on life. I hope it helps all who read it.
God’s Plan in a Glance
Dennis P. McGeehan
The dark cloud, covered skies matched my mood. The cold drizzle of rain made my bones ache. A project at work that should have taken an hour was now stretching into its second day. Just when I was making progress the computers crashed, it was a sign to get up and get away from the desk, lunchtime.
I drove my car to a spot that was secluded and quiet. I closed my eyes and tried to decompress. I started to drift off when suddenly I sat straight up. Without thinking I started the car and began to drive. I had no particular destination in mind. I headed into town. At an intersection I made a quick left. I was now heading toward the local Catholic church. When I arrived, the playground was full of kids, it was lunch recess. As I watched them, a feeling of envy and loss of simpler times came over me
I got out of the car, my tired aching body complaining with every step. I walked across the street and entered the church. I was very familiar with the layout, I had made many visits here over the years to talk to, beg and thank God. But this visit was different, I had no intention of coming here today, and yet here I was.
At noon there was rarely anyone else in the church, which for me was a plus. I lowered the kneeler and buried my face in my folded arms.
Kneeling there I began to drift. I tried to pray but my mind would not focus. Images of work replayed themselves in my mind. Conversations with the wife were rerun. Scheduled activities for my kids that I had no energy to deal with forced their way to the front of my mind. Could I even say Thank You God right now and mean it?
I raised my head. It took a couple moments for my eyes to focus. From the darkness shapes took form. It was the Lenten season and the church had remodeled the altar, and this year they had changed their normal scene of past years.
Normally, the huge Crucifix of the Risen Lord which hung above the center of the altar was removed, replaced with an authentic looking cross of logs capped with a vicious Crown of Thorns. But there it was the Risen Lord Crucifix positioned at 12 o’clock in front of me. The log cross was displayed but this year it was placed against the wall to the left facing toward the altar, it was at about an eight o’clock position. At ten o’clock was the tabernacle.
When I had entered the church I was oblivious to the decor, now coming out of an almost stupor I could take in the entire scene. Christ’s Death and Resurrection were right in front of me, and there He was as well, waiting for me in the tabernacle. I rose from my knees and took a seat on the pew. In my mind I said, “Mind if I stay a while, I really need to talk?”
Death. Resurrection ! His eternal presence. My problems returned to my thoughts but now they were like snowflakes falling onto a roaring fire. I had faced true life and death problems before and Jesus had seen me and my family through them. The house fire. My son’s critical illness, yet here I was and my family was safe at home.
For the first time in a long time I could take a deep breath, the tightness in my chest was gone. I felt my whole body relax. I sat there for a few moments relishing the feeling. I rose, genuflected and headed out to my car.
I got into the car and called my wife. I told her I loved her. I told everything would be fine. She had been worried about me. She was really glad to get the call.
Thank You, Jesus!