Whispers II: An Old Man in a Plane

Whispers I
Whispers II: An Old Man in a Plane
Whispers III: Obedience
Whispers IV: A Yellow Butterfly

The summer after I miscarried I flew home alone to visit my family. I had taken some magazines belonging to my husband to pass the time. One of the magazines was about short wave radios. An older man sitting next to me noticed what I was reading and a conversation began. It was mostly the older man who talked. I was shy and he was hard of hearing so it worked out. He began to tell me how during WWII he had operated a short wave radio in the Vatican. His story was fascinating and I was very embarrassed at my lack of historical knowledge. Toward the end of his story he mentioned how I might have guessed he was a priest. Uhg… so much for history AND my catholic faith. I never put the two together. (Thank you post-Vatican II-feel-good-no-substance-religious education.) He then asked what faith I practiced. I gave my standard noncommitting answer, “I was raised catholic.” He was a seasoned priest and knew what I meant.

I don’t really remember the details, but our conversation continued and I had mentioned losing the baby and knowing I should go to church again. He started to talk about how sometimes when difficult things happen in life we tend to get mad at God. I blurted out loud without thinking, that I could never be mad at God! I was afraid my baby died because he was mad at me for the sins I chose to commit. Noticing how much this disturbed me, he turned to me and asked if I wanted him to hear my confession. I am pretty sure my eyes popped out of my head and my faced turned red. My heart began to race and my eyes watered. Until that moment the Sacrament of Penance hadn’t occurred to me. Please remember too we were crammed into a plane and the man required me to almost yell in ordered to be heard. I turned him down even though my heart was screaming to do it. I remember him saying that God didn’t punish me by taking away my baby, but most of what he said was lost to my own thoughts. They were thoughts of embarrassment that people could hear us, how part of me wanted to find a quiet spot and talk to him alone, and how I wished I could remember how to make a confession (sin of pride prevented me from asking).

We landed and I had to catch my connecting flight. Father promised to pray for me. Some how even without confession a part of me felt more at peace. God had sent this opportunity. Even though I did not fully appreciate it at the time, I still knew beyond any shadow of a doubt God wanted me back.

Okay, I guess that really is not a good example of a whisper. God actually sent a shepherd to find me. I was just to ashamed to be found.

(Douay-Rheims version) Apocalypse 3:20 “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If any man listens to my voice and opens the door to me, I will come in to him and will sup with him, and he with me.”

He is knocking at your door too.

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