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Take My Hand!

March 26, 2018
By Jodie Rubenzer, Spiritual Companion
Almost every day I am allowed to witness a sweet moment of connection and care.  There are two school age children, about the ages of 10 and 6, perhaps a brother and a sister, maybe neighbors or cousins, who are in route to a destination known only to them.  I assume though that this back pack laden two-some, holding one another’s hand are making their way to school.  They protectively hold each other’s hands and with sensitivity guide one another to the side of the road as they are passed by cars. 
I am affectionately, tickled as I observe the smiles on their faces and the movement of their mouths, in which I secretly wonder what it is they must be sharing to enlist such an amusing reaction.  This witness of connection always brings a smile to my face and emotion rises in my throat at the tenderness displayed and the lesson they are teaching me. 
This little connection of care has prompted me to reflect on the invitations I receive daily as God reaches out to me and says “take my hand”.  It’s not an invitation of control but rather of desire.  God says, “here reach out, I’ll walk with you; Let me walk with you today”. 
Recently I did accept a wonderful invitation, and that has been to walk with the 8 candidates and 1 catechumen who will be fully initiated in the Catholic faith at the Easter Vigil.  And what a walk it’s been!  It has been one of friendship, of mutual sharing, of growth, joy, pain, excitement and most especially love.  As we grew deeper in this walk of faith, we began to understand more fully what it means to be the “Body of Christ”.  We learned from one another, through our own stories, of the ever-present, unending flow of God’s love and mercy. 
As we near the Easter Vigil, we understand we reach an important destination, but we don’t stop there.  It’s only a rest stop if you will.   This celebration of the Eucharist will provide for us the gifts we will need to move on and enter into the next part of this marvelous journey.  As we reach new destinations, we do so changed by our experiences and grateful for the comrades who have been with us along the way. We go forward, knowing we will never journey alone and each new opportunity presents the potential of a new hand to hold.
So I invite you to “take our hands” and come along with us: Tara, Reese, Gretchen, Olivia, Brandon, Richard, Terry, Austin and Andrew and all the other companions who’ve traveled with them this far, as we all make our way to this Eucharistic feast of Easter.  And as we extend our hands forward to receive the Body and Blood of our Lord and Savior, may it arise in us the courage we need to then extend our hands out in front of us, behind us and sideways; reaching out in compassion to those whom we might next encounter, and say, “Here take my hand, I’ll walk with you”. 

 
Bethany says:
March 27, 2018 08:10 AM CST
So beautiful!!!! I needed this, this morning! Remembering God walks with us not in front or behind us but with us! Your writing is absolutely beautiful and so inviting!!!