Monday, 26 February 2007

A very small thing

I mentioned that I have a book of reflections for Lent. Today's scripture is:

"I assure you, as often as you did it for one of my least brothers, you did it for me." (Matthew 25:40)

We have a 93-year-old family friend whom I have been meaning to visit for ages. What with the new job, and then the new house, and various other things, I just never got round to it. Then my plans for this weekend were cancelled. I was still planning to watch the rugby, but on the spur of the moment I picked the phone up and asked this lady if I could go and visit her on Saturday.

Well, it was a lovely drive to get there, on a clear road lit by the beautiful spring sunshine. I spent about two hours with her, and did a couple of jobs which took me minutes but will make a huge difference to how easy her daily life is. We went to Saturday evening Mass together, and she proudly introduced me to all her friends as "my nearly niece".

Yesterday evening she phoned me up. Once again, she thanked me profusely for taking time to visit her. One thing she said really struck me: "I went to bed feeling so happy after seeing you." I didn't know whether to feel pleased that at last I'd made her happy, or guilty that I could have done it so much earlier, and so much more often.

Such a small thing I did - just two hours of my time, to visit someone I love but never have enough time for. Our daily lives are so busy, and we're so focused on dealing with the here and now, that weeks and months can pass without us even noticing. Lent gives us an opportunity to stop and think, and maybe sometimes those Lenten reflections help us to choose to do the right thing - that thing we've been putting off for too long.

I did miss the rugby, though - I presume England thrashed Ireland...?

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