“It only takes a moment, a smile, or a handshake to make a new friend. That friendship may last only a few months, but, then again, it may last a lifetime.”
~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis
Today is Sunday of Divine Mercy. I went early to church to greet for 9 o’clock Mass, only to find this very large, burly and jovial man already passing out the Mass pamphlets and greeting. Oh my! He was standing on my side of the double doors. Mary was out of town, so I manned her side. Gordon had a joke and a handshake for just about everyone who entered, often times backing up he procession of parishioners scurrying in to find a seat. It was nice to meet Gordon, also a Knights of Columbus gentleman.
I saw Mr. Jerry on his way in. He usually sits behind me and Miss Virginia, and he mentioned a couple of weeks ago that he was going to Turkey on vacation. I asked him how his trip was as he walked past me. He smiled and said,”Great!” Before he got too far, I asked, “What are you doing after Mass. Want to get a coffee at McDonald’s?” He said sure.
About the sermon, being Divine Mercy Sunday…OH! I had a BIG problem with that. Father Charles talked about the woman who forgave the people who killed and tortured her family. Sorry! I couldn’t do that. If you harm me, my family, or my friends on purpose, knowingly, with malice, no remorse, I am not forgiving anybody. Sorry! I sang my hymns and recited my prayers, and thought about the sermon. I searched my soul. There are just some things and some people I will never be able to forgive.
I only knew Jerry as the man who sits behind me at church with the lovely voice. We only said hello and shook hands at the “Peace be with you” part of the Mass. Today, he drank coffee and I drank tea, and I heard all about his adventures and fabulous sight seeing in Turkey. I know about his daughter and grandkids. He knows about my family in Chicago, my art, my writing, and how I hate the smell of coffee. We shared stories and laughed.
Now, the man who sits behind me on Sunday is not a stranger, he’s my new friend Jerry.