Our very first Lourdes Volunteer had just been moved to Germany and I was excited to be reunited at an MCCW-E conference which is how we had originally met in 2002. Then she couldn’t attend the retreat. So close—a little heart’s desire lost. A grace of Lourdes Volunteers is the charism of family and the blessing of Our Lady introducing us to her friends. Close friendships are a treasured gift to many of us now: Liz and Mary, Annette and Cora, Melissa and Sister Mary Peter, every Lourdes Volunteer and our Jamie!
My heart’s desire to spend time with my dear friend is about to present itself as a gift wrapped in a surprising series of unplanned events. Our gratuitous plane ticket to MCCW-E was unknowingly for stand-by travel, good only when an open seat is available. We were so thankful for the opportunity to share the Message of Lourdes with the military ladies that when the airline said there wasn’t a seat on the scheduled day of return, it couldn’t dampen the joy. The blessings and graces remained.
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This didn’t change the reality of being stuck in Germany without Euro to wait out an open seat. Someone needed that last seat more—trustful surrender—awaiting the grace in every-thing.After two hours at the luggage carousel, prayer made for peacefulness when the airline announced my luggage was lost!
Next came the consideration that a grace-filled adventure was amidst… My friend was close by—time with her was possible! Instead of missing my stuff, there was the freedom not to lug baggage. No worry what to wear? Luggage-free hands to enjoy a few hours with a treasured friend and an opportunity to explore a little taste of Germany together.
A little tiny heart’s desire created and fulfilled by grace.
Don’t you just love it when Our Lady introduces you to her friends… then seven years and three countries later when you’re stranded, she drops everything to take you in to share a good cuppa tea together?
God must so delight in giving us our little heart’s desires when it is for the good of our souls or for the good of others…
Germany feels familiar and is reminiscent of upstate New York. A defiant pink rose blooms in the October air with fall foliage. Gingerbread trim with carved wood details reveal expert craftsmen lived here. Hearty mums bravely hang on to their last moments suspending autumn in window boxes and flower pots. Church bells chime for prayer. A quaint heartland town with a vibrant center of little shops awaits.
We stop to get potatoes for dinner. The local produce store (no super duper mega market) has the distinctive aroma of all that is good for us to eat. Every Oma must be cooking healthy Guolash Soup with ingredients from this shop full of newly uprooted veggies and freshly cut spices.
Fall fills our senses as summer surrenders to the beauty of autumn.
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God’s fingerprints are all over creation, boldly visible and evident in the magnificence of nature. Bejeweled ruby and amber mountains with foothills of wild lacey dill reveal a hint of the splendor of God. Beauty provides us a slight glimpse in the mirror of our omnipotent creator.
They say when God made earth, He took a deep breath in Bavaria. Evidently God breathed deeply in this country. How breath-taking!
Your fingerprints are ever present to us, Lord. We can see Your image and imagination throughout Your ordinary and extraordinary creations.
Missing a scheduled flight is a plane gift! Thanks be to God for every encounter which is surely lined with grace, even in the absence of luggage or money. Your plan is better than any arrangements we make.
Thank you, St. Bernadette, for your holy example of trustful surrender with joy for simple sacrifices of little comforts.
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