“May the Virgin Mary help us so that, we do not allow ourselves to be distracted by external things, but make room in our hearts for the One who has already come and wants to come again to heal our illnesses and to give us his joy.”
There’s a local food pantry that has been desperate for lunches, so we have joined other families from our parish in making cheese sandwiches once a week. It’s a pretty straightforward activity for our clan, even 3-year old Norah can partake. It’s also a good reminder for our family during this crisis of how fortunate we are. For the first few weeks, we’d make the sandwiches in the morning and we’d drop them off in the afternoon. As more families joined, our second refrigerator/freezer in the garage held them for a day or so until Tricia could get to the food pantry. Last week, the pantry called to say that so many people had stepped up and asked if we could hold the sandwiches for a few days. I came home from doing our weekly grocery trip, a duty that I no longer enjoy due to this pandemic, to find no room in either of our refrigerators for any of the food for our family of six. As I huffed and puffed, shuffling cheese sandwiches into every nook and cranny, little Norah decided she needed to be right under foot, a talent she has perfected. As a carton of ice cream fell on my foot, I held in an expletive but I let out a "Norah, get out of here! There’s no room!" Her tiny bottom lip curled as she displayed her sad, heartbroken face (another talent she has perfected). "There’s no room for me?" she began to whimper.
As she commenced her screaming and ran away, I stood in my kitchen, looking at a freezer full of food. I wasn’t sure of which I was more ashamed, the fact that I was angry one of my two freezers was full of food for the poor or that I told my daughter I had no space for her. It made me think, in these days where I waffle between craving activity and feeling overwhelmed at the same time, for what am I making room? For whom am I making room? Are the activities that satiate my desire for movement, filling my soul? In my desire to connect with the world like I used to, am I missing opportunities to connect with who is right in front of me or the Lord who’s always in my presence? I found Norah, apologized, and asked her if she wanted to make some more cheese sandwiches. Prayers that you find space for Him this week!