But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control; against such there is no law.
My heart is so full of love and joy at this moment. Love for the good of mankind and joy in my heart because God chose to bestow two things upon me today. One of them was something I really wanted to do but had put out of my mind, because at the time, it just wasn't possible. The second thing was something completely unexpected. Something we never saw coming, but something that demonstrated so completely, the love of Christ. The good of mankind. The fruit of the Spirit. Let me tell you a story.
It all started about three or four weeks ago when I read in our church bulletin that a local priest would be visiting a nearby parish to say Mass and then after Mass he would judge a chili cook-off. Now, this wasn't just any priest, he happens to be Father Leo Patalinghug. You know, the Throwdown with Bobby Flay winner on the Food Network? Yeah, Bobby Flay challenged him to a fajita throwdown and Fr. Leo won! Anyway, besides being a great cook, he also happens to be a wonderful priest and I wanted to go to the Mass to see him. However, my husband was going to have to work that day and I just couldn't see taking all four of the kids by myself to what was going to be a VERY crowded Mass. I pouted for a day or two...yes, sadly I did. Shame on me. But then, I thought I better snap out of it. It just wasn't meant to be. I put it out of my mind and didn't think of it again. Fast forward to Saturday afternoon. Because of hubby's work schedule, we have to attend the Saturday afternoon Mass at the above mentioned church that is near our town. We get there pretty early so we're all sitting in the car in the parking lot enjoying the warm weather. The priest happens to be walking through the parking lot and stops at our car to chat for a few minutes. While we're talking, he mentions that there is going to be a guest priest saying Mass. "Who's saying Mass?" I ask. "Father Leo Patalinghug" he says. "GET OUT!! Really??" I say. I couldn't believe it. As it turns out, all along I thought he came last weekend. But actually, it was this weekend at the Saturday afternoon Mass. He was there and I was in attendance. This brings me to the other part of my story. Because the dinner after church was something that you needed to sign up for in advance, we didn't go to that. Instead we went to Cracker Barrel. As we were sitting outside in those infamous Cracker Barrel rocking chairs, waiting for our table, we started talking to a man and his wife. Their daughter and her date were there for their homecoming dinner and mom and dad came along too. (I thought that in this day and age, it was really nice that mom and dad came along to dinner to chaperone their 15 year old daughter and her date) Anyway, he was talking about how they have three girls and this daughter is their youngest. The others have left the nest and she is the last one at home. They were the nicest people and they really cherished their family. After awhile, their table was available and they left. Later on we were seated and our meal arrived and as we were happily finishing up our dinner, our waitress came over to our table. She told us that someone in the restaurant had paid for our family's meal. She also said that they tipped her so not to worry about that either. Can you imagine? My husband and I were speechless. We asked her to please thank whoever did this from the bottom of our hearts. She said she would and then she left our table. As it turns out, our waitress told us that it was the family we had been talking to. But by the time we knew that, they had already left. They had wanted to do this without us knowing that they had done it. How's that for the fruit of the Spirit? I only pray that God will give us an opportunity to return the favor to someone else and that somehow, the family that did this for us will know the depth of our gratitude. There is so much tremendous good in this world ~ sadly, we just don't hear about it as much. All in all, it was a fabulous day.
Thank you dear Lord, for the goodness you show us, the abundance of grace you provide and for hearing our prayers!
God Bless You All!!