Mercy Minutes #16

angel as a symbol of faith kindness and love
A reflection on question 7 from the pastoral letter by Chris Codden, diocesan director of the Office of Marriage and Family.

Q. What are some experiences you have had of unconditional love in your life — received and given?

There are so many, but the one that immediately comes to mind was after my parent’s home flooded in Illinois. My daughter and I went down to help my parents as soon as we heard of the devastation. The water had come up within a foot of their roof, so everything was damaged.

Through the weekend after this happened, we had numerous volunteers who helped us remove debris from their home, or stopped by with food and water. By the end of the weekend, the main floor of the house had been cleared, the drywall and insulation removed, and all their salvageable belongings were positioned under a tree in their front yard.

But Monday came and the teams of volunteers returned to their own lives and there was the basement yet to tackle. The water had finally receded, and even though there was not much recognizable there, it all had to be removed. As I started early Monday morning, I was confident I could handle this on my own.

But by 10 am, I had hardly put a dent into the mess and was already tired of lugging garbage bags of wet heavy items up the stairs. Overcome with despair, I feel to my knees and finally asked God for help. Would he give me the strength to do the job that needed to be done?

Within 15 minutes of my prayer, two strapping men appeared, Omar and Gene, asking if I needed help. They helped me all day, until at last, the basement was empty. I never got thank Omar and Gene for as fast as they came, they disappeared. I wonder to this day if they were real men or angels sent from heaven. Regardless, they were a sign of God’s grace and unfailing love, and an answer to a quiet prayer for help.

God shows me his unconditional love in so many ways and is ready to help me, all I have to do is ask.