I entered church a few minutes before Mass started, trusting that since I was early, I’d be able to find a seat. Looking around, I didn’t see any readily available so I stood at the back of the church, scanning the pews for a place to sit. I knew my friend, Vic, would be sitting in her usual spot but I couldn’t see her when I looked in that direction.
So, I stood in the back, still scanning. My back had been hurting (I have spondylolisthesis) and sitting would be so much better than standing. I spotted my friend up front but was there room next to her? Not really sure if there was room between her and the man on her right. Mass started and so I stayed put for now, thinking I might move down there in a few minutes.
A young woman sidled in to stand next to me. I was very aware of her presence there, maybe even a tad annoyed that she was standing so closely to me. Then I heard her cry. Softly … a sniffle at first … then barely-heard gulps of air … and then quiet sobs. Her head dropped and I could feel her energy withdraw from the Mass and flow deeply into her sorrow. I could see her quiet tears drop toward the floor.
The annoyance of my human nature swept away, and I felt a deep compassion for her, my divine nature coming forward. I didn’t need to know the cause of her tears; I only knew that she was in deep, soul-engulfing sorrow, something so familiar, I felt I was feeling it with her.
I felt a lightness through my crown chakra, flowing down and opening up my heart. Instinctively, I moved in front of her and wrapped her in my arms as she cried even harder. And we just stood there like that - just being - just being present to one another.
As her tears subsided, she whispered, her head still down on my shoulder, “My mom died this morning.” And then we both cried some more.
She briefly shared her story in whispers there at the back of the church, a story much more important in that moment than the Mass that was being celebrated. Others would hold the Mass energy for us for few moments; I knew that I was to be a good servant, that I was part of a Divine purpose.
Later, after Communion, as we returned back to our spots, a new wave of quiet crying washed over her. She hadn’t slept in two days, staying by her mother’s bedside as her mom moved forward in her own personal journey. I found some tissues for her and she knelt in private prayer.
At the end of Mass, we shared another hug and she thanked me over and over, saying that I had been her angel in her time of need.
As a child, I was sometimes overwhelmed with the depth of God’s unconditional love for us. I found it immensely hard to fathom, like trying to think of the universe, the Big Bang, or trying to think of a time before the earth was created. It could make my head hurt to think of the amazing Love we’re given, freely, no strings attached. I don’t have to do anything to earn that Love. I can’t do anything that will make the Divine not love me any more. I will always and constantly and abundantly be loved. No conditions.
And so, my child-self would pray to God to please give me opportunities in my life to be His servant, place me where He needs me to be to serve others, to let me release my own ego and simply be what He needs me to be for others. (I’d hoped at one point to be a cloistered nun, living in a cloister and spending my days praying for peace and goodness and Love in the world.) And so the Divine has presented opportunities all throughout my life, and each time I recognize it as the answer to my child prayer. Not to earn Love; I already have it. But to share my connection with that Love by being a servant for others, gratefully, lovingly.
I read a story once where a child asked a kind stranger if he was an angel. Nope, he answered. Sometimes God’s angels are so busy, they use humans to help out. And we’re only too happy to serve.