A Call for Help

Paul Keggington

October 12, 2007
          I love being down here in Greenwood, Mississippi and a part of the deep South. 

The history of the people here is so vastly different than from what my life was like growing up in Wisconsin.  Living here for the past three years has given me an opportunity to just begin to realize the struggles and pains that are part of the history here of the people and how their lives have been affected by the past.

          A few days ago as I was walking from the car to the grocery store, I vaguely heard someone call out “Sister”.  As I scanned the parking lot, wondering if I did hear someone call or not, someone else pointed to a man and woman a few rows over.  As I turned and went in their direction, I wondered what this was about.  It turned out they had a young teenage daughter who wouldn’t get out of the car.  She was upset because they wouldn’t get her a cell phone right then and there.  Even though they told her that it was just not possible to get her one right away, they would be able to do so in a week.  Still she refused to get out of the car.  I couldn’t help but feel the pain that all three of them were experiencing; the parents who were not able to get her to understand, and for Ruby, the young lady, who was caught up in the culture our country has created of needing to get what we want right a way.  Even though I did spend some time talking with her, knowing that no matter what I said would probably make no difference at all, all I could do was trust and pray that God would touch her heart in some way that only he could. 

          While proceeding on to do the grocery shopping, my thoughts were on St. Francis and how he and his followers preached and witnessed Christ to the people of Assisi and the Umbrian Valley.  Their presence spoke of Christ to others.  In walking through that parking lot, the mystery of being called to help, just because of being recognized as someone who is trying to live the Gospel life, is also a humbling experience.  After leaving them, the call to offer my prayers and the aches and pains of my day for them came very willingly from deep within the heart. 

          Our call to live a Franciscan life in Christ comes in so many forms each day.  Are we ready to respond to each little way that it does come?  Are we listening and willing to let go of our plans in order to respond to that call?  How awesome it is to answer that call, trusting that God will provide what is needed, so that others may experience the life he gives. 

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