As we forgive those that trespass against us…..”
Robyn Sullivan was floating somewhere. The angry fog had parted and she could see someone. Who was that woman with the greying hair and why was she here? The grey woman was carefully dusting and arranging objects on a table. As she came closer, Robyn realized that this old broken woman was Isabel! A sudden anger seized her and, at the same time, a satisfaction that Isabel had gotten old. This close, she could see that one of the objects in front of Isabel, was a statue of Jesus Christ. This time, great sorrow gripped her. Why was she here? She wanted to go, to leave, but found that she could not. Robyn watched her enemy inspect her home.
Isabel inspected her family altar closely and was satisfied. The altar was dusted. Blessed candles, matches and holy water lay in the china tray next to the beautiful statue of Jesus Christ. The altar had been there since a couple of years before Robyn Sullivan had died. The man who had sold the statue to Isabel, hadn’t wanted to part with it.
” It’s seldom that you see a piece of plasterware in condition this good. And then, of course, there’s the sculpture , itself. This Jesus is really beautifully done.”
Robyn agreed and here in her home, it had found its new place of respect. When anyone was sick, or facing a crisis, this was the place to pray. Following the old ways brought Isabel comfort.
Next, she inspected the windows and doors. Each opening had a tiny crucifix above it. They were glued in place, but they needed checking once in a while. No one entering this house would mistake the house for anything but a Catholic’s home. Yes, there were beautiful works of art on the walls, but there were religious works of art in each room. Isabel had felt happy since God had given her the ability to forgive her mother. Now, she was readying herself and her home for the next step. Isabel was no fool. God would protect her and her family, but that didn’t mean that Satan wouldn’t take a crack at her. Isabel didn’t have a horror movie view of Satan. She knew that the fallen Angel was far more subtle than that.
Drinking alcohol would be a bad idea. A clear head would be key. Swearing was also out. She knew she let swears fly now and again and that would have to be weeded out. Any flare-ups of anger, jealousy, coveting material goods would have to be have to be answered with prayers . Keep your nose clean. It was important to mind your own business but also important to rise to the challenges that others faced. Most of all, it was important to remember that none of her efforts would be possible without God’s help.
She was ready. She climbed into the now ancient truck, slipped on the belt and turned the key. Robyn found herself in the car beside Isabel. Robyn’s presence went completely unnoticed. When Isabel had nosed past the busy traffic and pulled out on the state road, she began her conversation with God. Robyn was astounded. She hadn’t been able to understand language for a long, long time. She could understand Isabel perfectly.
“So, okay, God…….. I have a favor to ask. ‘Course, You already know that. So,” Isabel sucked in her breath, ” I don’t know where my mother is”.
“If she’s with you, great…… But, if she isn’t, I want You to take her to You and treasure her and keep her. Jesus said I could ask You anything and I would receive. I’m not Your child like Jesus was, but I am Your child and I’m asking. I’ve forgiven my mother, and even though I know You’re totally responsible for that, I still want you to take my mother and treasure her and keep her with you…… I ask this in the Name of Jesus Christ, Your Son and my Lord. Amen.”
Almost immediately, Isabel remembered free will and that God could not do anything against another’s will. Robyn had to want it.