God-incidences are the gift of kairos moments
By Mary Regina Morrell
"There are no mistakes, no coincidences. All events are blessings given to us to learn from." Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross
Erin works in a bank, her desk situated directly in front of a floor to ceiling glass window. Each day, around the same time, an elderly gentleman passes on his daily walk. From the first day Erin smiled at the spry senior, a friendship, of sorts, was formed. Now their exchange of smiles and waves has become routine. Nothing out of the ordinary - or so Erin thought.
One day last week, Erin looked up from her desk to see her friend standing in front of her. This unexpected personal encounter startled her, but she smiled up at him in spite of it. For the first time, she heard his name, "Ben."
Ben handed her a small gift bag and explained that he wanted her to have something for Christmas because her daily smile and wave made him feel valued, a feeling that was often missing in the life of an aging man living all alone.
They spoke for a few minutes and, when he left, Erin turned the bag around to find the name of the company printed on the front, "Donna and Company."
Donna was her mother's name.
It was the first of many "coincidences."
Inside the bag was a small box of candy and a book. As Erin lifted the book out of the bag, a piece of paper fell to her desk. On one side was a handwritten note, a brief life history of her elderly friend, who, he explained, had grown up as blonde-haired, blue-eyed orphan in a large Italian family. "Didn't always feel like a fit," he admitted in his note, but the memories of warm and wonderful Christmases, filled with the food for which Italian families are known, were a comfort during these holidays alone.
Erin, also blonde-haired and blue-eyed, shared similar memories of a large Italian family and the sights, sounds and aromas of an Italian Christmas. Her sense of connection and coincidence was growing.
On the back of the paper was a copy of an old newspaper clipping about a young man, "a square toe kicker," who had been a walk-on at try-outs for a famous football team. In college, he was known for his dead-on accuracy but his small stature had kept him from making the professional team.
Erin was near tears now. Not only was she aware of how much this loss, this "not being chosen," had meant in the life of her friend, but she realized that she could do something to make this Christmas a very special one for Ben.
You see, her brother was closely affiliated with the very same team for which Ben had once tried out. Together, she and her brother planned something very special for Ben, including giving him something that had been a long time in coming -- the official team shirt with his name written across the back.
Surely, this will be a Christmas Ben will add to his memories as being warm and wonderful, instead of cold and lonely.
One morning, soon after the gift-giving episode in the bank, Ben walked past Erin's window and threw his arms straight up in a gesture she didn't recognize. Then, for the next few days, he didn't come by and Erin became concerned.
He had left her his phone number in the little book so she called him. Much to her relief, Ben answered the phone and admitted he had decided not to come by for awhile because he was afraid she would think him a stalker.
After they had a good laugh about that, Erin asked Ben what the arms up gesture meant.
With a smile in his voice he explained, "It meant that you are a touchdown for me!"
Christian author Phil Ware explains that early Christians viewed time in two ways, chronologically or chronos, or through strategic moments when "different layers of life and reality converge" providing great opportunity, or kairos.
About coincidences, he writes, "We shouldn't be surprised when the Lord puts us in the right place, at the right time, to be a blessing to others. Let's just make sure we're awake to the possibilities of his grace being used in us when it is most needed. God not only works in history, but he also accomplishes salvation through his 'everyday' people at just the right time. He works in us and through us in 'God-incidences.'"
For Ben, the gift of this Christmas season will be found in the grace of kairos moments.
May it be our gift as well.
Diocese of Metuchen
http://www.diometuchen.org NJ, US
Mary Regina Morrell - Associate Director, Office of Religious Educationp, 732 562.1990
coincidences, Christmas, blessing, time
More Catholic PRWire
Showing 1 - 50 of 4,718
A Recession Antidote
Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell
Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell
Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Franchising to Evangelize
Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Three words to a deeper faith
Relections for Lent 2009
Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell
World Food Program Director on Lent
Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Glimpse of Me
The 3 stages of life
Sex and the Married Woman
A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Modernity & Morality
Just a Minute
Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Edging God Out
Burying a St. Joseph Statue
George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell
Easter... A Way of Life
Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
by Catholic Online
- Pope Francis calls for prayers following terror attacks in Spain, Finland
- St. John Eudes: Saint of the Day for Saturday, August 19, 2017
- Daily Readings for Saturday, August 19, 2017
- Mother shares tragic photo of dying daughter as she pulled the plug ...
- Pope Francis asks for prayers following terror attacks in Spain HD Video
- Mother shares heartbreaking photo of her dying daughter as she pulls ...
- New Jersey Mayor dismantles shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe
- Daily Reading for Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017 HD
- Daily Reading for Monday, August 21st, 2017 HD
- Daily Reading for Sunday, August 20th, 2017 HD
- Charlie Gard's mother opens up about the beautiful life of terminally ill Charlie HD