A Meal and a Prayer

An Unforgettable Lesson
by Sara A. Blalock | Source: Catholic.net

As I entered my children’s school last week, there was an unusual atmosphere. The teachers had a glazed look in theireyes, the principal was noticeably distracted, and the secretary was missing. Ittook a little while for anyone to notice that I was even there.


Then, the shock came. I was told thesecretary’s mother, Mrs. Roar, had unexpectedly died in the night of cardiac arrest.


In the midst of the chaos of thatmorning, the second grade teacher, Mrs. Jay, had a visitor. Her mother, Mrs.Dee, came by the school. Mrs. Jay is a seasoned veteran with 30 plus years ofteaching experience. Her elderly mother is a sweet woman, slight in stature andform. Mrs. Dee feebly came to the school to consult with her daughter about the needs of the secretary and her family. I witnessed a short conference between Mrs.Jay and Mrs. Dee. Quickly it was decided Mrs. Dee would make a meal for thegrieving family and deliver it before noon.


The interaction caught me off guard. Inher age and wisdom, Mrs. Dee knew instantly that she must feed the family of the deceased. Consulting her daughter was Mrs. Dee’s way of not only providing for the secretary’s family, but also assuring her daughter that even though she still had to teach, everything would be cared for properly.


One of the spiritual works of mercy isto comfort the afflicted. Never before had I realized that those grieving,especially when it’s an unexpected loss, are suffering from an affliction. The affliction is one filled with mental anguish, what-ifs and sorrow. My reaction was to pray for the family, but sometimes, it is just as important to providefor physical needs. Even though Mrs. Roar, the woman who died, lived in my neighborhood, I am ashamed to say it never occurred to me that taking food tothe family was a way of providing comfort in their time of affliction. Ilearned that the spiritual works of mercy are a concrete way to show love to your neighbor. God used the frail Mrs. Dee to teach me another aspect of thisChristian principle.


It’s a lesson I won’t soon forget.

Sara Blalock is a homemaker residing in rural Northwest Ohio. She is a mother of 2 and expecting her third child in January 2012. She can be reached at cnblalock@frontier.com.

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