Will we thank God for the stumbling blocks we receive?
If we are honest with ourselves we will always be thankful for each little nuance that confronts us. For those who are blessed with the virtue of patience it is not too difficult to overlook little irritations that can upset even the most virtuous persons. A lot depends upon the type of lives any of us has been exposed to. However, when an opportunity to forgive someone who has become that cross in our life that is nauseating, this presents the opening of forgiveness that eludes too many would be saints.
Watching people who are always like most impatient persons and see the shortness of patience in their response, it leaves a feeling of concern by their reactions. One never knows what to expect and hopes their harsh response is short lived and does not affect you in their barrage of anger.
Many times when teaching and/or preaching it is refreshing to hear a thank-you from either a parishioner or student say; how did you know about my problem or your words touched me and gave me hope for the future of this problem?
Those are real responses any teacher might hear after a delivery of positive approaches to any number of issues that might be on the minds of your audience. We never know when we speak, write, or become a moderator of any particular group experience just what or who our presence and comforting words will affect.
Each of us who has been given the talent of understanding life’s many issues that confront our charges whom we must care for is mandated to care with diligence and concern. Caution must be addressed when listening to the many emotional or physical needs from our students who trust our decisions. Anyone who listens to us with expectations of answers seeks wisdom that we may not be aware of. If we cannot answer their quest we must search for a solution from other sources. We must never leave an inquiring person with a blank response and subsequently leave them in a precarious position. If we are not able to answer them, say so. But do not formulate a false opinion in order to move beyond their plea for help.
Many of the penitents Jesus was confronted with had one need; healing of terrible maladies. Most were physical, but a number also were evil spirits and emotional signs of evil. The one response that Jesus always gave was; “go in peace your sins are forgiven.”
The impetus of Jesus’ mission was to show his Father’s mercy through forgiveness and
Redemption from sinful lives. Our response to queries will not be a forgiving essence, but should become a desire to find Christ within their very anxious moments and seek God for the deeper need that confronts them.
How many times we are put in a crucible when encountering a situation we had not previously been schooled in a solution. Unfortunately, this is often called a baptism into life and the answer is now on our shoulders. Bear up and tackle it the best way that we can.
There will be no recompense for stumbling over unseen blocks but to ignore a crucial crisis that one or more persons who trust in your ability will be something you might ponder about. Of course, again, do not try to solve this person's malady if it centers on something you are not qualified to handle. Send them to an expert more qualified than you.
Even Jesus didn’t find everyone he encountered to be accepting of who he was or cared for his teaching. We shall all find the same refusal for God’s grace. Many people will be looking for a quick fix me up and then go on your way. Our response to such a quick relief from adverse feelings is give them your blessing and move on to the next encounter.
Ralph B. Hathaway