A Receptive Instrument

Liquid love

On a busy Sunday evening just before Mass began, a woman approached me in the narthex and asked if I was Barb. I responded that I was, and she got teary eyed and whispered that her daughter was deeply into drugs. She could no longer hold back her tears, I said that I would pray for her and try to contact her daughter. What more can be done at a moment like that?

I remember a call I received from her daughter one morning last year.  Distraught and crying, she shared with me how she had been drunk the night before and was raped by three guys. This was her senior year of high school. I went to the school and waited with her until the police came.  It broke my heart to think of what she had endured at such a young age.

As a youth minister, there are many encounters where teens, young adults, and parents deposit themselves in my office, or stop me in the courtyard, and speak about a difficult moment in their life. I try to always ask God that I be open to His inspiration at that moment in time. I pray that my words are His words of hope and healing.

Another mom whose daughter attended one of our retreats last year, pulled me aside a few months ago, and shared how worried she was about her daughter. I told her I would try and make contact and would also keep her in my prayers.  When I next saw the girl my simple “hi” opened the floodgates as tears rolled down her face. I asked her if she wanted to talk and found a quiet place amongst the chaos. She said she couldn’t possibly tell anyone what she was doing because it was so horrible that even “God could not forgive her…” I reassured her that there was no sin that God could not or would not forgive.

God places us where we can be His instruments to his children in need. I don’t believe there are any random coincidences, but rather God’s guiding hand in everything. St. Teresa of Avila said it so wonderfully in her prayer,

Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
Compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,
Yours are the eyes, you are his body.
Christ has no body now but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
compassion on this world.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.

Pope St. John Paul II, wrote about spiritual motherhood and fatherhood. Each time that I am available to listen, counsel, pray or be present to another, I am being a spiritual mother to them.  It is part of how God designed and gifted all women, but it is also very much a function of our priests who are spiritual fathers to literally thousands of souls.

I feel honored to not only be a mother to my own five kids, but a spiritual mother to hundreds more. I am humbled and privileged that God placed me in my secondary vocation first, as a youth minister and now, in marriage ministry. Being available as His instrument to hurting parents, couples and teens is daunting. Our families are broken. They are often disconnected and longing for acceptance and authentic love, as the old song says they are, “looking for love in all the wrong places.”

I encourage you to be open to your fellow brothers and sisters who are placed in your sphere of influence. Be instruments of God’s healing love. First things first, pay attention and notice the hurting souls who are all around you. It is easy to look right through them. Second, be willing to reach out.  There is a song I love by Brandon Heath called, “Give Me Your Eyes,” The chorus goes like this:

Give me your eyes for just one second
Give me your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missing
Give me your love for humanity
Give me your arms for the broken hearted
Ones that are far beyond my reach.
Give me your heart for the ones forgotten
Give me your eyes so I can see

The Almighty gifts us and we are obliged to share those gifts for the benefit of all.  Imagine what our world could be like if each one of us did this. We cannot wait until we are President or Prime Minister or even Pope, to begin to influence change. It must start today, one person at a time, even if it only means a smile.

Look around and don’t be afraid. Christ is there beside you, guiding you, and inviting you to reach out to a world in need of hope.

Be the change. Be His instrument.

Published by pouredmyselfoutingift

Catholic, wife, mother, and grandmother. Ministering to those preparing for marriage and struggling within them. Cooker, baker, and dessert maker. Passionate, giving, action-orientated, dedicated to marriage and family and sharing the Good News.

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