My boys were on the front lawn,
…which do to the constant cycle of snow and rain…
…has turned the whole landscape into a mini marsh.
That hasn’t deterred my children from striding through it all though,
searching for wildlife that seems to be attracted to such conditions.
One day they found a couple of salamanders;
Another day they found some frogs;
And today all they found was their four year old brother, stuck in the mud.
Jonah had wanted to do what the BIG kids were doing.
So he got on his little boots and treaded out to where the others were playing, and it was then…
…that his feet refused to move.
On his very first attempt to free himself though, he fell face forward into the water.
It wasn’t a dangerous situation.
It was just a yucky situation.
And my four year old’s eyes filled with tears.
It was then that his big brother Gabriel taught me something.
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Gabriel could have just picked him up and set him on his feet.
Gabriel could have gone one step further and carried Jonah to a safe zone, free of all the wet and muddy stuff.
Gabriel, now ten years old, picked up his little brother…
…getting himself all muddy and wet in the process…
…and gave him a piggyback ride through the marsh.
DON’T YOU SEE?
Gabriel was more concerned with Jonah being part of it all then his own mini-adventures in that mud.
Gabriel was more concerned with seeing a smile on Jonah’s face then worrying about how this was all taking away from his sought after play time.
Gabriel put the joy of the muddied first.
He didn’t just do what he had to do…
…but he did with joy what most people avoid.
Can you imagine if we Catholics took this approach to evangelizing others?
What if we were not afraid of getting muddy?
What if we made it a daily mission,
…not just to fix the emergences that others bring us…
…but to actually draw them into the joy that comes with knowing Jesus?
You can do this and so can I.
Thank you, Gabriel for the reminder.
in Christ, patrick