A couple of years ago I was looking to get more involved at church. We had been in this parish for almost five years and I felt like I wanted, and needed, to do more. I tried volunteering at our St. Vincent de Paul food pantry and helping the Altar and Rosary Society with funeral meals, but neither felt like the place I was supposed to be. Right about Easter of that year, there was a notice in the bulletin that help was needed in the Arts & Environment committee. Now that sounded like something I would and could do.
Little did I know that help needed was really code for someone to take over. Tammy had been doing it for nearly ten years, mostly by herself. For her, it was time for other things.
Thankfully, the day I showed up to help for the first time, so did Janet. I had never met her before, but we hit it off immediately and, as it turns out, we make great partners. We tend to be opposite where it helps and similar where it counts. I’m tall, she’s short. She’s a chatterbox, I’m quiet. She’s an artist, I’m a seamstress. She likes making phone calls, I hate talking on the phone. I’m great on the computer, she’s great with the paintbrush. She lives on the south side of town, I live on the north. But, together, our vision for what should be done to adorn the church is similar.
Last week, we “decorated” for Lent. I put decorated in quotes because, for Lent, mostly what we do involves removing all extraneous items from the altar and sacristy. It needs to be bare, bleak, so our focus is on the cross.
There’s a couple of items we normally use by the cross that we haven’t been able to find. Part of me just shrugs and says oh well, no one will miss it, but the other part of me says it is just entirely too obvious that they are not there. What’s missing? The crown of thorns and the nails.
As I looked up at it yesterday after communion it hit me that Christ wants all of me, all of my effort, not just a half-hearted attempt at doing something for Him. If I’m in for a penny, I’m in for a pound.
Say a prayer I find what I’m looking for tonight, won’t you?
* * * * * * * * * * *
I wrote the above Monday morning with every intention of going to the Liturgy Committee meeting that night and stopping in the warehouse beforehand to look for the missing items.
I just could not do it.
That night my penny and my pound were the same. Everything I had to give was very little. I'm counting on God understanding.