Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Sally, Again

I don’t know what it says about me, but when I am at Eucharistic Adoration, my closest encounters are often with people, not with Christ. This may be only a matter of semantics. Recently I met “Sarah,” a troubled woman, in our Adoration chapel. Yesterday, again, it was Sally. I have written about “Sally” before. I have written about being surprised. Yesterday, I was surprised by Sally.

Sally is probably 70 and in seeming good health, although she always arrives as if in a hurry, panting. Yesterday, as I sat before the Blessed Sacrament, I could hear the unmistakable Sally sounds of a slightly shuffling tread, a sense of many bags rustling together, and panting. Sally’s panting is not that of an unhealthy person. It is that of someone in such a rush of joy she cannot contain herself. She always arrives at her prie-dieu beside mine as though this were the goal of a long day’s journey over rough terrain but under sunny skies.

Sally put her bags down and settled into her seat with a great smile. “How are you, dear?” she whispered at me. I whispered back that she had a great smile and she said, effectively, right back at you. Then, as she pulled out her rosary beads, she told me she had come to give thanks. The weather here in New England has taken a decisive turn toward spring, the economy not so much. Still, a seasonal place of work has called Sally in for the day on Friday. “I just have to give thanks,” Sally said.

Her eyes rose to the cross, the smile broadened, and she whispered, “We do what we can, don’t we?” I had nothing left to add, so I invited Sally to have a good day. “You too, dear,” she answered, turning a loving gaze toward me one more time. “You too.”

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