Wednesday, November 28, 2007

God's Direct Intercession?

I sometimes have a tough time figuring out how much detail God really makes happen in our lives-- I'm talking about the "this happened for a reason" kind of stuff. I'm guilty of rolling my eyes when ball players give the "thanks, God!" gesture after a touchdown, as if He really cares about football games and such... but, I of course believe God has the ABILITY to do this and anything else He wishes, and that everything happens because God either actively wills it or allows it to happen.

I've been having such a feeling lately regarding a situation I've been involved in for a year, or a decade, depending on how you count it up.

My dad and I were estranged for 10+ years, with virtually no contact, until about 18 months ago I had a thought sort of hit me in the head during Adoration. My family was going to Florida and I decided right there in the Adoration Chapel to let go of a bunch of bitterness from his marriage to my mom, and invite him to meet me (and his three grandchildren, whom he'd never met!). He lives in Jacksonville. Was this God, or Mary, or my Guardian Angel putting this idea into my brain?! Maybe.

I wrote to him and he wrote back, and last Thanksgiving we got together, and have kept in telephone contact since. It was pretty emotional. He seems to have grown as a person and I know I have-- at the very least the last time he had heard from me and wasn't Catholic!

When we met in Florida I learned that he had been caring for a lady friend for two years, who had COPD, needed portable oxygen and was basically confined to short trips and a lot of close care. He had offered to take care of her, and they both really thought she wouldn't be alive for much longer. He stuck with his commitment for nearly three years, even though I know he wanted to come here and visit but really couldn't leave her. This Saturday she passed away in a hospital after some complications.

(This was a little wrinkle in my original "revelation," since I should mention that I also had the firm idea in the Chapel that night, of convincing him to move to Minnesota and live near us-- or maybe with us....)

He called me on Saturday morning to tell me about her death, very emotional, and he mentioned right away that he didn't have anyone else to call or talk to. I knew this all along intellectually, since his parents and sister have already died many years ago; but when he said it I realized how lonely and desperate he must feel right now. He had devoted himself to being a companion to this one person, who as far as I can tell is the only person in the world whom he really had any attachment to...

Until last year, when I had called him out of the blue and struck up a renewed relationship with him. It does make me wonder what he would have done if he really had had no one at all to call on Saturday, or really no prospect for the next phase of his life.

And it makes me wonder if this was one of those situations in which God put us both in a position to make a touchdown-- for me, a chance to forgive and ask for forgiveness; for him, a reason to go on after a devastating personal loss and live the rest of his life as an involved father and grandfather.

I welcome any reflection or similar stories.

1 comment:

Laura The Crazy Mama said...

Is it God's direct intercession? No one can KNOW without a doubt (we can believe without a doubt, but that's a philosophical difference, isn't it?). We may never know...but does it matter? To me, NO. The facts are that this happened and it's wonderful. It's beautiful that you shared the story and it's a "happy ending" that your dad had someone to talk to and that you've found some measure of forgiveness (isn't that ALWAYS a good thing? Aren't totally good things from God?) with your dad. Maybe now, you both have a better chance of getting each other to Heaven! It would be an excellent testimony to tell people with little faith that "God made this happen for SURE!" but I guess God has better ideas about how to spread His message and his love. He gives us nudges once in a while that He might be involved, but I tend to believe that these "God moments" are more for the personal knowledge/growth of the individual for whom they happened...otherwise we get into trouble. Example: If I say something like, "God meant for me to get that great touchdown/tv/raise in pay/new friend/etc..." then it sort of sounds like you're saying that if someone else has some sort of suffering or not as many "blessings" then they are NOT blessed and God is not with them.
Thank you, again, for sharing this beautiful story. I THINK it was God's intervention (it sounds like something He would arrange) but I don't KNOW it!