the people complained against God and Moses,
“Why have you brought us up from Egypt to die in this desert,
where there is no food or water?
We are disgusted with this wretched food!” – Nm 21:4-5
One of Paul’s favorite things to do right now is to hold his arms out like wings and then run back and forth across the yard. While doing this he yells, “I’m running!” over and over again. If we get out of the car somewhere he often asks, “Running?” to see if he can run wherever we are going.
Yesterday I shared about a painful, complex experience at Mass for us recently. A few weeks after that occurred we were at the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress: 20,000 Catholics for three days of conferences and exhibits. On the last day, Paul was walking around the hall with me and he really wanted to run. We found my husband and then got a bench to sit on in the midst of the chaos, but out of the way. We sat, Jason ate his lunch, and Paul ran laps around the bench. “I’m running! I’m running!”
A few minutes later, one of the newly appointed auxiliary bishops came walking over. My first thought (as nice as he is) was “Oh no, Paul is so wild right now. Hopefully he will just say hello and keep walking.” Instead, he sat down next to us and asked how the weekend was going for us. He shared about something difficult going on in his own life right now. We just sat and visited as the chaos swirled around us and Paul did his “running.”
When I am frustrated with the Church, or frustrated with God for not giving me what I think I need, I am consoled by this image of the three of us with Bishop Brennan at Congress. Where do children belong at Mass and in the Church? Where do each of us belong? Right in the center, in the company of good friends and mentors.
Whether sitting on the bench in conversation or with arms stretched out running, what are you and God doing together today?