by Father Mark Goldasich,
Last Thursday, I was having a wonderful lunch on the patio outside at the Yard House in Kansas City, Kansas. The weather was spectacular, the food tasty, and I was catching up on life with a good friend. What could be better than that? Well, how about getting a glimpse of the risen Jesus?
Let me give you the details.
A young man in his 20s was sitting by himself at a table across from mine. He’d ordered a half-rack of barbecue ribs and was truly enjoying them. I suppose some folks eat ribs with a knife and fork, but most of us — this young man included — love to just pick them up and eat them with our hands.
After he finished eating, the poor guy was using his napkin to try and get all of the barbecue sauce off his fingers. He was having a tough go of it. All of a sudden, I heard the scraping of a chair at the table to my left. An older lady got up, marched over to the young man with a huge smile on her face and offered him something. I started grinning when I saw what she had in her hand: a portable package of Wet Ones®. The surprised young man gratefully took one, and the lady without further fanfare returned to her table and her meal.
I thought to myself, I’ve seen the risen Lord here today. This is what the Easter season is about: bringing new life into the world. Where there’s a need, a Christian is called to notice and respond — not for any personal recognition or reward, but simply because it’s what the Lord would do. That young man’s day was better simply because someone cared for him with a small, unexpected gift.
We Christians are to be Christ-like messengers of hope to a world that has so much bad news in it. In fact, because we see and hear such relentless sadness, we sometimes forget that it’s up to us to turn things around. We don’t have just good news, but the best news. And we’re called to proclaim it to the world by our words and, maybe most effectively, by our actions. We’re to be light for others.
Just for fun, I decided to shift my focus for a few days from the sorrows of the world to where hope — the risen Lord — was being lived and proclaimed.
Here are just a few samples over the last couple of days from my news feed on Facebook:
- A friend of a friend posted the following from Chetopa this past Monday: “To the man at Lowe’s today that saw me buying a load of paneling and roofing, then kindly handed me his 10% off coupon, I hope you know how much you helped me. We may never see each other again, but your random act of kindness is truly appreciated! May you have a very blessed day, sir!”
- On Tuesday, a Catholic press colleague, who was stranded at La Guardia Airport in New York because of bad weather, had this to say: “I would like to thank the man who slept on the hard floor here at La Guardia so I could have 3.5 hours on a cot last night.”
- Another friend posted this on April 18: “This afternoon I heard a scream and looked up from my desk just in time to see a little girl in pink flip over the side of the escalator about 3/4 of the way up. There could have been a tragic ending if her guardian angel hadn’t put another dad in the right place at the right time to break her fall. She was so scared but safe!”
So, where will you see the risen Lord this week? He’s all around us . . . if only we have the eyes to see . . . changing the world for the better — one Wet One, one coupon, one cot, and one dad at a time.