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Let’s Roll

June 18, 2014

I met my friend Liz at the park earlier this week for a visit.  It was a beautiful day and we sat on a park bench in the shade to chat.

Liz and I have both had many personal challenges in recent years.  Liz has been supportive of me, and I of her, through them.

But we hadn’t visited much in recent months, so we scheduled a time to catch up and reflect.

Liz and I are both cradle Catholics.  We both are the same age and went to the same grade school, St. Christopher in Midlothian, IL. We grew up in the same town and attended the same church.

After grade school our lives went in different directions.

But we reconnected through church several years ago and have maintained a good connection since.

Because of our common past, we see many things the same way.

And we both cling to our faith through life’s challenges.

Liz and I had a wonderful conversation.  We caught each other up and where we are in our journeys of life.  We shared our challenges in life.  We shared our hopes.

But most importantly, we shared our faith.  We both seemed to keep coming back to our faith for strength through the trying days and moments we have had in recent months and years.

At one point in sharing her stories and faith, Liz used the expression, “That’s how I roll.”  At another point, when speaking of us in living out our faith as Catholic Christians, she expressed, “That’s how we roll.”

It reminded me of the now famous expression of American hero, Todd Beamer, who, with other passengers, overcame the hijackers of Flight 93 on 9/11 crashing it into a field in Pennsylvania.  Moments before the plane crashed, he was overheard on a cell phone reciting The Lord’s Prayer, and the 23rd Psalm, and, before acting to overthrow the hijackers and their plan, saying, “Are you ready?  Okay.  Let’s roll”.  His words resound forever with faith, courage and a call to action.

Liz and I shared many stories and reflections.

One nugget Liz shared was when she was asked by someone why she was Catholic she replied, ‘How could you not want to have the Blessed Virgin Mary in your life and interceding with Jesus for you?’.   ‘And that her 3 best friends are Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and even if she didn’t like what her Father decided, she still had the other two to help her deal with it.

I shared my thought of, ‘How could you not want to be in the best club in the world?’.  The benefits are wonderful and eternal.

Liz confessed that she was praying for things, results and faith for others that just weren’t happening yet.

I expressed that maybe the focus of her prayers needed shifting.  Instead of praying for things to happen as she would want them, maybe she needed to be praying for strength, wisdom, understanding – gifts of the Holy Spirit that the Holy Spirit gives generously to those who seek them. With those gifts she could be a beacon to those others she was praying for to find faith too.

We also reminisced about the wonderful examples of faith that we have had in our lives – our parents, grandparents, relatives and dear friends – people who lived out their faith their entire lives and loved us, strengthening our own faith. Their examples and lives have been so inspirational to us and help us to find the courage to meet our challenges, love and lead our children, and be strong and loving for others in our lives.

Our visit wrapped up, and we said our farewells, and returned to our cars which were parked next to one another.

I got in my car and started it.  I reflected a moment on all we discussed, and our challenges that still lay ahead for both of us.

I rolled down my window, got Liz’ attention one last moment, smiled, and said, “Let’s roll”.

She smiled a big smile.

And we rolled, knowing we weren’t alone.

 

 

 

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