Last Friday, as I was driving to the Canton-Akron Airport to drop Sr. Cathy Arnold off, she and I noticed that the flags were flying half-mast. Both of us had forgotten until that moment that it was September 11th and we both fell into a respectful moment of silent remembering.
As I sat at my computer this morning wondering what to write about, I recalled that moment, as well as an article that Carol Lemelin, one of our Dominican Associates of Peace who regularly writes for her own blog, recently shared with me and several others. I felt was most timely for this week, so with her permission I share it with you.
by Associate Carol Lemelin, OPA
“Just a little pinch,” said the radiologist as she gave my flesh another squeeze and then said, “Don’t breathe.” As if I could! Mammograms are awful. The machine looks modern but its grandparents are in a dungeon somewhere in France. I feel violated after this test and I left there angry and close to tears as I always do. I was composing letters of complaint in my head as I went about my errands and then on my way out of a store, the woman behind me called out: “You don’t know how I envy you for having strong legs and be able to walk.”
I turned and saw a woman who limped severely. I told her I am very aware of that gift and don’t take it for granted. She smiled and said how hard it was to get used to limping along. I said that I knew sometimes the inability to do what we used to do was worse than the pain. She agreed and a conversation started. She was at the Pentagon on 9/11 as was my son and so we had a little bond. She told me she had had 15 surgeries on her leg from knee to ankle and now was facing a 16th because the ankle work was failing and she was facing 7 months of immobility. At that moment my mammogram faded into non-existence.
We exchanged names and I said, “Donna, I’ll pray for you.” She looked startled and said, “You’ll pray for me?” I assured her I would. I did and I will. She hugged me and got in her car. I sat in mine for a minute wondering why she was surprised and then it occurred to me that this is evangelization in its purest form.
But evangelization is too big a word for what just happened because this was a little thing. But then, much of what people do is made up of little things; a painting of brush strokes, a tapestry of stitches, a symphony of notes and here an exchange of words. To evangelize is to share the love you feel from God with someone else. All you really have to do is follow the example of Jesus and speak of God with affection and sincerity. You do the little things and leave the rest up to God remembering that sharing the Good News is a cooperative.