Written on: March 25, 2020
FIFTH SUNDAY OF LENT- March 28, 2020
His sisters loved him—“Lord if you had been here …”
I don’t often say that as I generally feel God is with me—whether in a beautiful sunset or a child’s smile or the gracias of a food pantry recipient—or just the nod of a friend who knows I will be there for her.
But, a few years back the words of these two sisters echoed loudly in my ears and heart.
Early on Sunday morning I received a telephone call from the daughter of one of my ever faithful volunteers at Marguerite’s Pantry asking that I contact a priest to baptize her infant brother who had been rushed to Elmhurst Hospital. As we talked, Dayana cried: “My mother said to call you so you can get a priest to come. Damian is dead.” My heart sank and my voice left me, as just three weeks earlier I had held baby Damian in my arms when his mother brought him to meet me and the others at the Pantry.
I called my St. Joan of Arc contact, and my friend Annie, to go with me to the hospital. When I got there the room was filled with Dayana’s family and her mother Yolanda holding baby Damian rocking and talking to him as a mother does when her baby is sick. The staff seemed to understand and left us in the room together to pray, to cry and to listen to Yolanda talk in hushed Spanish whispers to her baby boy taken so soon from this loving family.
“And Jesus wept”
That moment, that day, that scene in the emergency room at Elmhurst Hospital, will forever be engraved on my heart. The bond that was shared at that time continues to this day as I look into the eyes of Yolanda and her daughter as they continue to come and serve at the pantry in order to get enough food for her loving family.
“If one walks during the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of the world. But if he walks at night he stumbles, because the light is not in him.”
“Lord where were you when this baby, this mother, needed you?” No answer? Yet when we choose to walk in the light, Jesus guides us to continue to show the love experienced among those in that hospital room. God does not desert us in our time of sorrow, but holds us and carries us on through the love we experience from one another as we continue on this journey.