in the back of the church after the Mass
Seated at the table directly adjacent to ours was a beautiful family of eleven, with nine children ranging in age from maybe six months through sixteen years (my guesswork). The two eldest boys actually did not fit around the table with their family and the poor guys got stuck sitting with us. Meanwhile Joseph liked the looks of their two youngest sisters so much that he spent much of the luncheon unsteadily tottering over to visit the other table. Because of the chaos associated with feeding, quieting and keeping track of the twelve children between us (and the cups they shattered and the spills they created) we parents smiled and spoke a few words, but did not get much beyond that. On the drive home, Fr Jean-Luc called to thank us for coming and mentioned that the family of eleven was none other than that of a very prominent Catholic author and publisher whose work Rich has long admired. We were stunned. Richard joked to me that if he had known, he would have tried to get my book publishing deal brokered on the spot so that he could quit his job search. But even more amazing was that during the luncheon, a different, but even more famous and prominent Catholic author and speaker (from Down Under, by the way!) called Rich on our cell phone. Richard had interned for this man over eleven years ago and has not kept in touch since, but they caught up for a few minutes today by this man's own initiative.
None of this has anything directly to do with our prayers for employment. But in one week's time, the Lord has brought no less than THREE very powerful Catholics shoulder-to-shoulder with us (a Bishop and two renowned authors) - which we are choosing to interpret as His reassuring sign that His own power and influence are just as near - and nearer. I feel like He is just showing us the many friends He has in high places and the many ways He can work to bring people together without any anxiety or effort on our lowly part.
I was laughing the other night as I scanned the week's readings and saw Jesus' instructions, "The harvest is abundant, but the laborers few, so pray the Master of the harvest to send laborers for the harvest." I feel like Rich is jumping up and down with his hand in the air shouting, "Pick me, Lord! Pick me! Send me to the harvest!! Pick me!" And He seems to be reassuring us this week that He does have a corner of the vineyard all picked out for Rich, but that there is still a season of waiting (and growing in trust) for us to complete before the harvest season of work is fully upon us. So - we continue our efforts ("efforts" of grace alone) in that endeavor.
Incidentally, it's not all R&R anymore either - Rich is beginning two part-time jobs this week so that we will have this little luxurious thing called "income"- but this is still a time of relative calm before all the drama of moving and shouldering heavier responsibilities. We are very grateful for these two jobs! Thank you to any and all who joined us in praying for some work for Richard as we wait on The Call.
Last night was Joseph's first night ever in a big old American crib!
He'd been sleeping in a pack 'n play since we returned.
Translation for Kiwis:
Kia Ora! Last night (which was the middle of the day for you, of course)
was the first time EVA that Joseph has slept in an American cot.
American cots are nearly twice as big as Kiwi cots,
even though strangely, American porta-cots are
barely half the size of Kiwi ones.
Sweet as! She'll be right. Cuzzie. Kia Kaha. All sorted. Mean!
(oh yeah, we've still got it!)