So. Today is the most frightening day of the year, and not just because it’s a school night and you’ll have to get everyone up bright and early tomorrow after they crash from their sugar high into a sugar coma. Is there anything more frightening than realizing the two year old just gearing up, it’s 2 am,and you have to work tomorrow?
I thought a little encouragement might be in order. Forgive me for being a bit maudlin, but I am still struggling to make sense of the senseless.
The St. Joseph School for Wayward Children implemented Table Time this year. I got the idea from Cindy at Ordo Amoris and it’s working very, very well. It was the exact solution I needed to get all that discussion, culture, social studies, and just the “non textbook” time integrated into our school day.
We read the daily Gospel readings and also the Proverbs of the day during Table Time. Last week the reading was Luke 12:39:
“Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour when the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into.
You also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”
I explained to the kids that means you don’t know- there’s no way to know- when the end of the world will be. Or, just your end.
Life is fragile.
Our own family has been mercifully spared tragedy, but I remember the paralyzing fear that comes when you think something is seriously wrong. Fear, when a pediatric cardiologist goes white and tells the nurse to call an ambulance for your newborn son. Fear when the ER doctor waves a CT scan of your 11 year old’s brain, saying “no concussion but there’s this growth here….” Fear when children go to a friend’s house, instead of the park, without telling you and don’t return home until after dark (and then get grounded for the rest of their known life…)
It’s easy to push those thoughts aside, especially when you are young and healthy. Yet lately it seems that friend after friend of mine are dying. I lost a friend to cancer in September, a mother with a 4 year old boy. A homeschool dad in my area died in a car accident in October leaving behind a wife and fatherless children. A blogging mentor was silenced by a catastrophic stroke this week (pray for Barbara and her family.)
And yo, that stuff is scary. To think about- really think about- meeting your Maker? And yet I think of the examples of the saints- of St. Therese, the Little Flower who met death with joy and other saints who eagerly awaited the end of this life. And why not? We are created for Heaven. We were created to find our entire fulfillment in loving God, forever, in His presence.
The saints embraced Christ with His crosses here on earth, and He embraced them into glory with joy.
The other reading on the same day was Isaiah 12:2, a contrast to the Gospel and a reminder-be not afraid.
You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.
God indeed is my savior; I am confident and unafraid.
I have a book Barbara sent to me, and she inscribed it “Wishing you Joy on the Journey”.
Be not afraid. Choose joy. Confess your sins and then reach out and embrace God’s grace and fear not because He is with you even unto the end of days.
He’s with you today, when we scare each other for fun and He’s with you every other time, when your heart skips a beat out of real fear.
Be not afraid.