Tag Archives: St. Patrick

Christ in front of me

This is from July of 2011. I changed the name of the foster kid.


Let me start off by saying I don’t believe that everything happens for a reason.  This is a discussion we can have another time if you want, but I don’t believe, for example, that God causes an airline delay making hundreds of people miss important connections with their families or work, costing people time, money, and aggravation, so that someone can have a meaningful conversation with a stranger in the airport that they wouldn’t otherwise have had.

However, I do believe that we are given more opportunities than we realize, more opportunities than we ever notice, than we would know what to do with, in both good times and bad, in making our flights or missing them, to do God’s work here on earth.

The other night I was reading to Will, and the boy in the book is taking care of four bum lambs.  That’s lambs whose mothers have died, and probably won’t make it through the Montana winter without a lot of special attention.  The boy decides it’s worth a shot to sprinkle a bit of holy water on the sick one and say Saint Patrick’s blessing.  It goes like this.

Christ in front of me.  Christ behind me.

Christ on my right side and Christ on my left.

Christ when I go to sleep at night.

Christ wake me up again.

Christ in every eye that sees me.

Christ in every ear that hears me.

Then the boy made the sign of the cross on the lamb’s forehead.

I was thinking about this on Friday when I was at the Clinton square to twist balloons and make a little spending money.  I say I was there to do that, but it was so hot that almost no one was out for Old Glory Days that afternoon.  No one but those kids.  Those kids who roam around unattended.  The kids I’m happy to make a balloon, or two, for, knowing that it won’t mean a tip, but it’s a balloon for a kid for heaven’s sake.  The kids that keep coming back, and then begin to get annoying, and on my nerves, and asking for more and more, and who don’t seem to appreciate what I’ve given them, and as I watch them messing around the square, I think to myself, why don’t they just go home.  And on a good day I realize that if they had a home worth going to, they probably would go home, and if they had someone at home who cared how they acted in public, they’d do a better job of behaving themselves.  And then, on a good day, I get off my high horse, and I realize that I do have Christ in front of me, getting on my nevres.  And I have Christ on my right and my left, wearing me out.  And I wish that I could take my latex stained hands and make the sign of the cross on these bum lambs’ foreheads.  Actually, if I had done that they probably would have left me alone for the rest of the day.

So as we remember now what Christ has done for us.  I want to again encourage us to see the Christ all around us.  In, for example, our old friends Tom and Brenda who I got to talk with during that hot Friday in Clinton.  Or in the boy who spent much of the day talking to me about nothing in particular and waiting for his mother to arrive from work, and him greeting her with a big balloon flower he had commissioned just for her.  Or in Joe who had been a foster kid in Adrian and gave me a message to deliver to his old foster parents that he was doing fine, a message I was able do deliver yesterday during the parade, clearly making those foster parents’ day.

Christ is in the bread and the juice, his body and blood.  He is in us, his hands and feet on earth.  And he is all around us, in his lost lambs that we have been charged to tend.

Christ in every eye that sees me.

Christ in every ear that hears me.