My Friend Behind the Wheel


Last Sunday as I was entering the church, a voice called my name and I saw Jean in the driver's seat of her car. When I approached her and saw plastic tubes attached to her nostrils and the oxygenator box beside her, I asked if she could drive and she said yes.

I have not experienced having oxygen tubes to help me breathe. I am sure it must be uncomfortable and inconvenient. But Jean behind the wheel was a picture of peace and joy. She said that she had accepted what God had given her and trusts fully in Him until He calls her home.

I was greatly edified.

Jean and I had talked before, in Bible Study, which she enthusiastically led, and I had seen her as part of the Gospel Choir which always sings joyfully.

I think that the default mode of our thinking when we live a life of goodness, of having a deep relationship with Christ, and of being kind is that it has no effect on others. We don't do good to be praised or admired.

But I know our actions do affect other people. That is called the power of good example. We can not tell exactly how our being who we are and what certain things we do in our daily lives affect other people.

I realize that that is what our Lord Jesus meant when He said "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven." (Matthew 5:16)

The lighted candle our parents received on our behalf as infants when we were baptized symbolizes the light we must be or shed. "You are the light of the world . . . It must not be hid under a bushel basket. . . . " (Matthew 5:14)

There are many other Jeans in our parish, in our family and among our friends. People in our parish who devote themselves actively in a ministry of charity like the Food Drive, people who stay a little while after Mass to pray more before the Blessed Sacrament, people who speak in a kind and welcoming way with a smile . . .

These and many other ways we consciously or unconsciously say or do affect or influence other people. They can lead others to be like you in some way and to do good things like what they have seen in you.

You and I may not even know it. It is a quiet way of evangelizing.

Like Mary, our Mother, we can lead others to Jesus, the Divine Word, with or without our saying a word. #

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