Life is full of surprises and messages. One can never predict what will be around the next bend. Saturday morning was a true testament to that. I was dropping off a cake for one of our Friend’s birthdays and some supplies for our event that evening. I was in a rush to get to the sister’s apartment because I was ,per usual, running late. This time I was literally running. But to my surprise as I opened the church door to book it, I was welcomed face to face by one of our Kid’s Club Kids, Jenya. Mind you, this was 3 hours prior to when Kid’s Club was supposed to be.
He looked at me and asked, ‘where is everyone?’ I responded, ‘home.’ To which he asked, ‘why??’
‘Because it is early, I will see you later, okay? I have to go.’ ‘What are you doing? Where are you going? I am coming with you’ ‘To the sisters’ house for mass.’ ‘Mass? What’s that? I am coming with you’ He proceeded to grab my hand and repeat ‘I am coming with you’ several times.
In the moment I didn't think that he really wanted to come, and thought he just wanted to hang out. I told him I was late and I need to go. I began to run down the icy streets, and soon I heard running behind me. He began running with me, asking where we everyone was, what I was doing and a million other questions.
In that moment I heard in my heart ‘stop running. It's okay.’ At the same moment I tried to brush those words away. Jenya continued running with me until we reached the apartment building. I told him I was going to mass, and he responded, ‘I am coming with you.’ We ascended the stairs to the top floor and entered the apartment. We were greeted by Misha and Olga who were thrilled by our new friend. As Jenya and I began to take off our coats, hats, scarves, and boots, he turned to me and asked, ‘what are they doing?’ ‘Praying’ ‘How long will they be praying for?’ ‘About an hour.’ ‘Okay! Wait for me!’
We entered the chapel and joined everyone in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. Adoration finished and Jenya took a stool and placed it right next to Katya. He sat cozied up to her as mass began. He began to follow along and mimic Katya, as mass continued. When the homily came, Father Yosef made a special point to reach out to Jenya and engage him in the message of the gospel.
Ever since then Jenya has been at our side. He came to mass the next morning; and then spent the rest of the morning with us and parish after mass as we all sat drinking tea and eating sweets at the Easter market, after the Lenten play that was performed.
It was upon entering the chapel that Saturday morning when everything came together in my mind. God finally had penetrated my thick skull. He literally sent me a child who craved community and was persistent enough to run with me to mass.I was in such a rush that I missed the beauty and preciousness of this moment. It is in taking our time, living in the present, and being docile to the spirit of life that we can fully live this life and make a difference. Slow down, reflect, and reach out to those around you. You never know who might need your help. You never know who might need you.