The timing of Therese’s birth meant we missed our usual vacations to the beach and Familyland this year. She is definitely worth it!! Drew however, the lucky man, was invited to join one of our family friends to go to Familyland. I was hesitant to let him go, not because I knew he wouldn’t have fun, but because I knew it meant he would be away for the week. I like having all my birds together!
After Drew was picked up on Saturday, I came in the house and noticed Joseph sitting by himself in the prayer room. He was crying at the thought of a week without his big brother.
Although Drew and Joseph are 5 years apart, they are the best of friends. In fact, as a little boy, Drew prayed everyday for a brother. He had two sisters and was ready to have some brotherly fun. At our encouragement he asked for St. Joseph’s intercession. Little children’s prayers are powerful and our Joseph is a testament to that!
Now they share a love of basketball, football, and simply running around together. They play, fight, and compete like all brothers do. Even though Drew rarely takes it easy on Joseph, Joseph would rather be with him than anyone else, beat down or not. Now he was looking at a week without his big brother. Even after the tears dried up, he kept periodically saying, “I wish Drew was here,” for days. He truly longed to be with his brother again and I know the reunion will be sweet indeed.
This heartfelt sadness of parting is what God feels for us when we turn away. God loves each and everyone of us beyond our comprehension and desires to be close to us. He is the father in the story of the Prodigal Son, who waits each day for us to return. In allowing myself to continue to sit in my everyday sins, and not more actively seeking to purge them, I am turning away from God. When I speak uncharitably to my children, I turn away from God. When I put myself before my husband, I turn away from God. When I don’t make the time to spend in quiet prayer, I turn away from God.
Possibly, if think of my sins as hurting my all loving God, if I think of how my dear Joseph cried those tears of sorrow, I will be less apt to be complacent in my spiritual life. It can become too easy for me to think I am doing enough in my life for God. In reality, each and every moment of every day I should be seeking to do more. To love Him better through loving my children better, to grow closer to him by spending more time in prayer and reading Scripture, to be more joyful by asking God to fill my soul with his grace. I am either growing in my faith, or falling away, there is no standing still.
I look forward to Drew’s return on Friday, which also happens to be his 13th birthday! It will be a joyous day for Joseph to be sure. I pray for myself, and all of you, that we may be actively seeking to grow in our faith life with God. That we desire above else to remain close to him. To be loved is a great gift, and no one loves us more that God. JMJ