Childlike Confidence

It is a beautiful mystery that God prefers to use His smallest, humblest children to accomplish His purposes.  This becomes apparent every day at our Visitation Center where we meet with and journey with expectant mothers and their little ones. Sometimes God’s “smallest children” through whom He wants to work are our own novices. These newest members of our religious community spend time at the Visitation Center experiencing our mission for the very first time.

One day a few months ago, two sisters, one of whom was a novice, were conversing in a parlor with a young woman. The woman’s face was beautiful, accented by her big, sad eyes that she cast from time to time at the sisters, before returning her gaze downwards. Her belly showed an ever-so-slight roundness, enclosing the light growing within.

The sisters were gently encouraging Clara to move away from an abusive relationship, and to spend a few nights with some trusted Co-Workers of Life, before a more permanent living arrangement could be found. Clara listened, eyes downward, lower lip drawn.

Finally she looked up. “I’ve made up my mind,” she said. “I will go back to live with my boyfriend. He isn’t always so bad. I just don’t see another way. This is all too hard.” “But, Clara,” said one of the sisters. “Can’t you just give this a try? Trust that God is in this and will work it all out for the best. C’mon, let’s call our Co-Worker so you can meet her over the phone.” “Thank you, you’re very kind,” Clara replied. “But I just don’t want to do this. I’m going back to my boyfriend.”

At this point, the first sister was tempted to give up. The voice of discouragement seemed to say, “You’ve seen this before. There is nothing more to be done. She won’t change her mind now.” But then the novice stood up with the pure, uninhibited confidence of a child.   She went over to Clara, bent down and put her arms around her. “You are exhausted,” the novice said. “You’ve pushed yourself to the limit, and just can’t go on any more.  You feel like this is not going to work anyways, and don’t have the energy to try.  But please, please, let us carry you. Please give God one more chance. OK?”

There was something so irresistibly tender in the novice’s manner and in her voice. A welling-up of profound gentleness: God’s own gentleness. Indeed it seemed as if the Holy Spirit took over this encounter, and finally pierced Clara’s darkness.

“OK”, Clara whispered.

A few months afterwards, Clara was in another conversation with two sisters. This time she was in brightly lit surroundings, all decorated with blue, celebrating her baby shower. Her face was beautiful, and her eyes no longer sad or cast down. They were sparkling as she laughed. “My family, they cannot come to be with me today. But, thank you, God, for giving me a family here. Thank you, God, for giving me my son.”

God our Father,
Thank you for revealing your love for Clara.
Thank you for sending your Holy Spirit to touch her heart.
Father, you love to work through your smallest children to accomplish your greatest works.
I want to be one of your smallest children.
Give me the heart of a child,
That it may love you with boundless trust.
Give me the eyes of a child,
That they may see you in every moment.
Give me the ears of a child,
Ears that hear your Word
With total simplicity and confidence.
Please, Father, work through me,
So that I may pierce, with you,
The darkness of those in my life,
And my own.