Good Sunday morning where I’m nursing a bit of a head cold and feeling a bit sorry for myself!!
(Rayne, Eddie…the steam idea didn’t work!!).
A few days ago on a social media application I received this message
“Are you the irish guy that writes the spiritual blog”.
Now the last time a stranger asked me that, he was an undercover policeman that threatened to kick me out of Bosnia so I was slightly wary of saying “yes, it’s me”!!
Anyway I replied cautiously and there was silence. “Great I thought, another weirdo or a stalker”.
And then a few days later I got another message and a conversation opened up!
The guy explained how we met when I was in Split and that he remembers me because I had this electric energy about me (he obviously met me on a good day!).
Eventually he sent me his picture and embarrassingly I had no idea who he was! Rather than pretend I simply told him. Seamus and I met so many people in Split that it’d be impossible to remember them all.
The next day he mentioned that he was from South Africa and then it clicked, I remembered him.
He has moved from South Africa to London and is now living in my area and he was utterly astonished that he should meet me again. He saw it as some sort of a sign from God!
And to be honest so did I. And here is why:
You see I don’t have a conventional ministry. I don’t have books and fliers nor do I go along to gay pride events etc. Instead Jesus calls me to meeting people off the beaten track on quite a casual and informal basis. I share, I pray and I trust.
So where are the fruits? How many books have I sold? How many followers do I have?…Some people find it hard not to go down these roads of human measurements.
How can I measure the hearts that I’ve touched or the blessings that have come from my prayers? I simply can’t.
And so as you can imagine it was very encouraging when this person remembered me and was delighted to get in contact again.
He was also positively touched when I told him that I had found a gay friendly and accepting catholic church and I’m sure that this simple fact has confirmed for him that God both loves and accepts him as gay.
At times in the process of evangelisation people can get too caught up in the doing and forget what is the most important. To listen and love people with the heart.
This guy did not remember me for my dangerously good looks or muscles nor did he remember me because I gave him a bible and a rosary beeds.
He remembered me because during the short time that I spent with him, I gave him something else. I listened to him and engaged with him with my heart as we shared our life experiences at quite a deep level.
Our Lady in Medjugorje calls us to pray with the heart and to be her apostles of love. Let us love everyone we meet as best we can with our hearts and who knows, maybe one day a total stranger will come up to you too and say “I remember you because I was going through a hard time and you gave me a piece of your heart to lean on that day!.
Our Lady, our mother, teach us to love with our hearts and to be Jesus for others who haven’t met him yet.