I met Scruffy the other day and Edna, his owner, warned me that, "He will sniff you but won't let you pet him." I took that as a challenge during our two days working at Edna's. I eventually won Scruffy over. This past Sunday, I joined 124 others on a mission trip to Webster Springs, WV. On Monday I joined a team assigned to rebuild Edna's railing from her front porch up to the highway where her pickup truck was parked. I share this story because it relates to the Gospel.
Jesus said to the Twelve: "Fear no one. Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known. What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light; what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna. Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father's knowledge. Even all the hairs of your head are counted. So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. Everyone who acknowledges me before others I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father. But whoever denies me before others, I will deny before my heavenly Father." Matthew 10:26-33
Jesus assures His apostles that they have nothing to fear "in the world." He speaks of the loving care of the Father for His creation. Those that acknowledge God are secure. Relationship with God is at the root of His followers responsibility to share the Good News with others. This is true regardless of circumstance.
When I met Edna and Scruffy I was immediately struck by Edna's strength and fortitude. She described her upbringing and her struggles in raising her own children. She had lived a hard life. And yet she had great faith in God. She had taken Scruffy in from an abusive owner and the two of them lived together happily.
We were there to minister to Edna. However it was her faith and trust in God, living such a meager life, that was truly an inspiration for us all. Even Scruffy seemed to demonstrate a certain fearless fortitude. We must all live that way. We must trust God and as Edna does, fearlessly proclaim God's saving message.
Thank you Edna for demonstrating your fearless faith!