In recent months, the pastor of our church has come under harsh criticism by a minority within our parish community. The concerns have nothing to do with the primary mission of the church, but are founded in some organizational leadership issues. Most parishioners aren’t aware of what’s going on or how deeply these attacks have wounded the spirit of a man who so genuinely cares for his “flock”.
Yesterday, the growing strain began to show. As the congregation was leaving the church, the pastor pulled me aside to share some of what he was feeling. My heart went out to the man who has helped me a great deal in my own struggles. Although I offered encouragement, I could see the weight of his burden was now causing previously unimaginable doubts in his mind. My words were doing little to help a friend in need.
Then, as if on cue, a little girl approached us. It was clear that she wanted something, so we stopped the conversation and turned our attention towards her. Sheepishly glancing up over the top of her glasses, she said in a quiet little voice, “Happy Valentine’s Day, Father.” She held out her hand and in it was a beautiful hand made valentine she had created. In an instant, the man who just a moment before had been overwhelmed with sadness, lit up like a neon sign! The joy that radiated from this little girl’s gesture of love could have energized the church and all the campus lights for a month.
This combustion was joyfully submitted by a reader who has asked to remain anonymous.
Thank you for sharing “Anonymous”. This girl’s simple act of kindness is what joyful living is all about. – Professor J