February 24th, 2011
by Karina Lumbert Fabian
God sets many angels in our paths, but often we know them not; in fact we may go through life never knowing that they were agents or messengers of God to lead us into virtue…
– Bishop Fulton J. Sheen –
She waltzed into the church, head high, unkempt hair making a silver halo around her head. She wore a turquoise dress and no shoes.
I had come to Mass alone to pray (and brood) over the decision I had to make. My grandmother was dying, and my parents thought she had only a few days left. Should I leave my small children behind with my husband and fly across the country to see her one last time? Could we spare the money? What if I had an accident traveling alone?
Those bare feet drew me from my fears long enough to watch her take the center spot in the front pew. As Mass started, my doubts about visiting my grandmother returned.
What would I do when I got there? My mom was caring for Grandma, and my cousin had taken over running the household. Besides, my grandfather died when I was young, and the man she had married molested me repeatedly as a child. Much as I loved Grandma, when I became an adult, and especially a parent, my visits became short and infrequent. My sister was the good granddaughter, driving hundreds of miles out of her way to visit when she and her husband were in Colorado. Was I a hypocrite for returning for one last good-bye? What use would I be, anyway? My anguish made the world around me seem dull and gray.
Except for the lady in the turquoise dress and bare feet. She watched the priest with head tilted up, swayed as she sang, and hugged the strangers around her. She didn’t deny anyone her affection. And she reminded me of my grandmother. Years of marriage to a difficult man had filled her with fear and eroded her confidence. Grandma would never have come to church in a turquoise dress and bare feet, yet she never denied anyone her love.
Was I going to let my fears and self-doubt deny her my love?
After Mass, I found the lady, and, tears in my eyes, thanked her. A few days later, I took a plane to Colorado. I read to my grandmother and prayed with her. I pulled out her jewelry box and went through it with her to distract her from her pain, a trick she’d used with me when I’d broken my foot as a child. When she slept, I talked to my step-grandfather about his youth, about the house, about how much he was going to miss Grandma. I cried with my sister and hugged my cousin and remembered all the good times we’d had as kids together in that house. A few days after my return, Grandma died.
God can inspire us in the most unusual ways, if we are open to his influence.
IT’S NOT HARD for things to cloud our judgment. Painful memories, insecurities, self-doubt–all these things can not only keep us from doing what is right, but can even convince us that the right thing really isn’t the best thing after all. When this happens, a straightforward argument may not lead you to the answer. At times like that, God throws something unexpected our way.
The next time you have a decision, bring it to God (as we should always bring our problems to him). He might speak directly to your heart–or he just might answer you with a pair of bare feet.
You have treated your servant well, according to your word, O LORD. Teach me wisdom and knowledge, for in your commands I trust. Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I hold to your promise. You are good and do what is good; teach me your laws.
– Psalm 119: 65—68 –
Author Bio: Karina Fabian’s quirky twists and crazy characters have won awards, including the INDIE book award for best fantasy (Magic, Mensa and Mayhem), an EPPIE award for best sci-fi (Infinite Space, Infinite God) and a Mensa Owl for best fiction (World Gathering), and top placer in the Preditor and Editor polls. In May 2010, her writing took a right turn with a devotional, Why God Matters, which she co-wrote with her father. Mrs. Fabian is former President of the Catholic Writer’s Guild and also teaches writing and book marketing seminars online.
EmbracingMyJourney L.L.C. was created by Caryn FitzGerald in 2008.
Caryn, known as "The Manifesting Queen" is a motivational columnist, speaker and writer, she has been featured in and published several books, including "Tulips In The Sand" "Fish Sticks, Books and Blue Jeans" “Manifest Success” “Visual Arts Junction Interviews” & “Online Marketing Success Stories..."
Caryn is a domestic violence survivor who has triumphed over a 10-year battle with anorexia and bulimia. She is a wife, mother, healthy-aging-specialist, writer, speaker, blogger, coach and a health food enthusiast Click to connect with Caryn at her website
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