I’m sure you wonder, as I do sometimes, why God has placed a particular person in your life. Sometimes, it seems they are there to test your patience; sometimes, it seems that they are acting as a guardian angel surrogate; sometimes, the reason remains a mystery. And even when we think we know the reason why, we may not be correct in our assumption.
Here are a few whose paths have crossed mine recently:
A woman I knew in high school – barely – sent me a friend request on Face Book some time ago. (Another woman from our graduating class of 1971 created a “group” on FB, and I am a member of that group. Many of the others have “friended” me, but they are mostly politically liberal-progressive non-Catholics, and I have “unfollowed” most of them so I don’t see their liberal progressive nonsense.) Anyway…this particular woman who wanted to be friends is a lesbian, and I knew that. I figured her political views would be liberal (they are), and that she would quickly find that we didn’t have much in common. But she wanted to be friends, so I figured, why not? At least she would be exposed to some non-liberal stuff.
Well, she objected to something I said against abortion; we had a short back-and-forth on that. Then I posted about not going to see “Beauty and the Beast” with my almost-step-granddaughter because of the highly touted “gay moment”. That just irritates me. The lesbian woman – let’s call her Lana – objected. She went into all the gay stuff about how “normal” it is to be gay, how she was “born that way”, how all reparation therapy is evil and barbaric (apparently some of it is, but I know there are legitimate and effective forms of therapy for those who want to overcome their disordered sexual desires), that a Disney representation would be so nice for children and adults who are ashamed of their homosexual desires, etc., etc. I addressed those things in a couple of exchanges, and then I decided to “unfriend” her, because I didn’t want her seeing my posts and arguing in illogical ways about the stuff I posted.
And I let her know that I was doing it. I sent her a private message, and told her that I was unfriending her, and why. And I said I was open to discussing things via messenger. Since then, I have had numerous exchanges with her, and I feel like I am butting my head against a brick wall. My stomach tightens when I see there is a message from her. I am tempted to completely ignore her. But there is something that keeps drawing me into “debate” with her. She calls me names like “homophobe”, and wonders how I can be so stupid about homosexuality. She asserts that she knows more than I do on the subject because she wrote a thesis on it. She reads things into what I say that aren’t there, and puts words in my mouth (such as, “you think we’re weird” – no, I didn’t say that).
So, it’s a trial. I asked her why she even keeps trying to have this conversation with me; she didn’t answer that. I asked if she believes in truth, or relativism. “Your truth is not other people’s truth, and vice versa,” she said. Well, we can’t really have a conversation then, can we? But I’m still trying. For some reason, this woman is in my life. Something impels me to continue the discussion, even though it seems fruitless. But if she stops writing, so will I!
Another person who crossed my path is not someone I have actually met or even talked or written to. It was just a poor mother in our town who went out one day and plastered a little flyer all over the main streets. The flyer said, in essence, that her 19-year-old son was into meth, that she loved him and wanted him saved from that, and that his father was supplying him with drugs. She wrote, “I am a mother begging, please please do not use, sell, or give my son drugs. His family loves him. We cannot lose him to overdose, disease, suicide, violence, insanity, prison – all the things that come with drugs.” At the bottom of the typed flyer was a handwritten note that said, “Have you ever tried to save someone you love?” I shed a few tears for this woman, and have been praying for her and her son.
It was my hiking friend who alerted me to this flyer, and I alerted The Fiancé, who is a police officer. He contacted the woman, and I don’t know what has happened from there. But I thanked him for making the effort, and he said, “My mom did something like that for both of my brothers.” He understands, and she was at least comforted by his initial visit. I know he will follow up, and perhaps you can add your prayers to mine for this family.
A third person is one whom I have known since she was 2 years old, but I have had no real contact with her since we moved to Oregon in 2003. She is the daughter of my friend Pam who died when she was struck by a car a little over a year ago. It was this daughter who let me know that Pam had died, and we became “friends” on Face Book. I watch her from afar, with a sad heart. She has so much to overcome, and she has overcome a lot of it, in some ways. But she lives an immoral lifestyle without knowing it’s really wrong, I think. And some of the things she says break my heart, and I wish so much that I could have made a bigger difference in her life. Recently, she posted a meme that said something about wanting to marry just one man, have kids who all have the same father (she has two little ones by different fathers, and she’s never been married), and have it be forever. Or something like that. But her comment was the killer: “I just want whatever will bring me happiness.” She wants to be happy, and has no idea how that happens. I am pretty sure she doesn’t really know what true happiness is.
The other day, this same young woman wrote about her mom. I can’t find her post right now, but it was along the lines of, “I can’t believe you’re gone. I lost you way too young. I love you, mom.” And Pam was a woman the authorities said wasn’t a good mom, and that both of her daughters should be permanently removed from her custody. That was prevented. And her daughters, now adults, believed she was the perfect mom. Might they have had different outcomes if they’d been adopted by a higher-functioning, economically advantaged family? Maybe. Well, certainly it would have been different. But would it have been different? Those girls loved their mom, and their mom loved them and did everything she could to give them the best life she could offer. I watch this one daughter struggle along, and feel a little helpless to do anything substantive for her. I need to increase my prayers for her.
So there are three people whose paths have crossed mine. I hope I am doing what God wants me to do with them!
Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me!