The priest that isn’t, is. . .
It wasn’t to mock the priesthood
or rip on the Catholic Church
When I came dressed in my black shirt and white collar. . .
It was only a reminder that each of us
at our best
and not so best
A M B A S S A D O R S
of something much better than us. . .
It’s also a reminder that first impressions
make a powerful,
p o w e r f u l
when I was at Giant Eagle
prior to the service on Sunday
the cashier sneezed
and the person in front of me and the person behind me and I all in unison said,
“God bless you!”
The man in front of me, seeing me in my collar, said,
“I think it means more coming from him, than us.”
R E A L L Y
as I was walking to my car
a group of Browns fans were coming in
obviously for some refreshments for the upcoming game that afternoon
and one of them yelled out,
“HEY, FATHER, BLESS THE BROWNS, TODAY!”
I just smiled and waved and didn’t have the heart to tell him that I was a Steelers fan. . .
The Golden nugget;
The magical moment came after church
when we stopped at our neighborhood grocery store on the way home to pick up some cat food and dog food
and as we were going through the checkout line the cashier stopped checking us out and said,
“Father, I know you’re off the clock, but I sure could use a blessing.
And before I could say a word she told me what a rough year it has been because her husband has been so sick. . .
And right there in the checkout line,
it became hallowed ground,
the check out counter had become an altar
the cash register shelf
a small Confessional. . .
We both seemed to forget about the people in line;
I asked her what her name was,
she said no longer looking at me.
“And your husband,” I said, “what’s his name?”
she said above a whisper like prayer. . .
I asked for her hands
and she reached across the counter and gave them up to me
as a sacred offering. . .
“Beth, may your and Larry’s new upcoming Blessings far outweigh any of the troubles that you’ve had this past year and may you never look at any sunset that brings the darkness without knowing of the explosive Sunrise that follows it.”
She had tears in her eyes and asked me if it would be OK if she could come around the counter and give me a hug.
And as we hugged
I whispered one more Blessing:
“Here’s to your greatest memories being those you’ve yet to create”
the greatest priest that isn’t,
The take away:
T H A T
especially the one without a collar. . .
Your Gospel. . .
and recognize the hurt that the World often brings to your door
the very salve you already possess to heal it;