Why We Come
Our French African Community
Bearing with the Harrys
A couple of weeks ago, I was in the security check line at the Tampa airport, dreading coming home to sub-zero temperatures. When I reached those rectangular bins where you stuff your stuff, I thought I was well prepared. My belt was already out of the loops and dangling around my neck. Gracefully balancing on one foot, I removed one sneaker, then the other and laid them in a bin. I still needed a second bin for my laptop. However, as I pivoted to grab one, a voice behind me barked, “Come on Harry.” Before I grasped what was happening, Mrs. Harry cut in line, whacking me with her bag as she barreled past.
When I was all set, my two bins loaded, there stood Harry. His jacket, shoes and belt were still on (and he was nowhere near as agile as I in their removal). After what seemed like forever, Harry finished disrobing. Now it was Mrs. Harry’s turn to hold us up. For some reason, she thought her jacket was special and unlike the rest of us mere mortals, she didn't need to remove hers for scanning.
All this gave me plenty of time to practice some deep breathing exercises. As I wrestled to keep my perturbation levels in check, I tried to rationalize their rudeness. “They must be in a rush to catch a plane”, I thought. As if he was reading my mind, Harry immediately blew that possibility out of the water. Checking his cell phone, he commented to his wife that they had plenty of time for lunch and asked where should they go. Finally, a TSA officer interrupted their luncheon planning and urged them to please move along.
I could hear other folks behind me in line grumbling about the delay. But by this time, I was calmer. Somewhere between the jacket and the luncheon discussion a thought had popped into my head. “This is what Jesus meant when he said to “turn the other cheek.”
By the time I got to the scanner, between the deep breathing and Jesus’ words, I was doing pretty well. Even when Mrs. Harry's metal pendant set off the machine and held us up one last time, what I felt was peace.
During the flight home, I did my daily “Called to See and Be Blessing” reflection. I counted plenty of blessings received, but struggled to find one instance where I had been a blessing. Then it dawned on me; my blessing was “bearing with the Harrys”. It was not something I said or did, but rather something I didn’t say or do. My encounter with the Harrys initially seemed like a cross. Instead, it provided me an opportunity to live out the words of Jesus and to know the peace that accompanies it.
The Prayer of St Francis begins, "Lord make me an instrument of your peace." Sometimes being a peacemaker, (or being a blessing) means we bear with one another. It means we forgive others their trespasses. In turn we hope God will forgive us our trespasses, our moments when we might act like Mr. or Mrs. Harry.
Fr Mike blogs regularly at http://reflectionsofafranciscangardener.blogspot.com
31st ANNUAL ST. CAMILLUS PARISH FESTIVAL HONORING MOTHER MARY
Saturday, May 9th, 2015
11:30 am – 5:00 pm
RAIN OR SHINE
Rosary @ 11:30 a.m.
Mass @ noon
followed by Procession
Crowning of Mary
Parade of Nations
Celebrating & sharing people, culture, food, music & traditional clothing of many countries.
If you want to volunteer or for more information, please call:
301-434-2111-Faith Formation Office
We need your help!
□ Help with Set-up/Clean Up;
□ Help with Parade of Nations – (distributing/collecting flags, etc.);
□ Help with selling of foods, including Ice Cream, etc.;
□ Help with Tombola;
□ Donate a dessert;
□ Donate a surprise gift for the Tombola
Join us at 7 PM in the Camillia Room this Earth Day for a screening of the documentary "Wisdom to Survive."
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