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Sunday, May 14, 2017

Come Sit With Me

There is a marble memorial bench at the cemetery where my dad is interred and it has a caption that reads "Come Sit With Me". I try not to look at it whenever I visit. It makes me uneasy so I briskly walk past it while rubbing away the goosebumps on my arms. I can walk the other way but it's in very close proximity to my dad's niche so there's no way to completely avoid it. Just the thought of it there, inviting me to come sit, always make me want to cut my visit short. I can sense Kathleen sitting there, looking at me and waiting for me to sit with her. I've ran past it to get to the car faster where I can feel safe with the doors locked (as if a locked car will stop a ghost from entering it).

Come sit with me. These words resonated with me as I found the picture of a bench that my son Angelo snapped today. This bench looks inviting. Positioned under the shade of a big oak tree, I can see friends catching up on each other's busy lives; a young couple sharing dreams of the future; a family enjoying an afternoon picnic.

Come sit with me. I got reminded of the times when I was young, walking past a kid sitting alone at lunch. It makes me think of people who choose an empty spot in the bus instead of sitting next to a sullen-looking stranger. It makes me think of the times I took for granted spending quality time with family members, even to sit at the dining table to talk about our day. I wonder how many lives I could have touched just by getting over my ego and striking up a conversation. I wonder how many more friends I could have made. These days, the internet is filled with news about kids taking their own lives because they were bullied and this is worrisome and heartbreaking for a mother. This serves as a reminder to parents to talk to their children about the impact of bullying and the difference a smile or a conversation starter as simple as a "hi" can make. School officials remind children if they see something, to say something. They might just save a life.

Lastly, the phrase "Come sit with me" also reminded me of a flyer I found at church, inviting parishioners to spend an hour with the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. That's Jesus saying, "Come sit with me. Tell me about your day. Tell me about your dreams, your desires, your successes and failures. Tell me about your relationships, your friends and your family. Tell me what makes you smile, what makes you sad. Tell me what worries you." Of course He already knows about all these things, but He wants to hear from us. He invites us to build a close relationship with Him. He wants us to be real. You can sit with Him wherever and whenever. There are times when you don't even need to talk, just surrender and listen with your heart. Will you accept the invitation? Jesus is not very particular about appearances. Come as you are.

Come sit with me. For some, this might as well be an invitation to reach out, to heal, to make friends, to rekindle relationships, to re-awaken dormant faith. If you're not sure what to say, "Hello" is a good way to start a dialogue.

--with faith and gratitude,
Elle

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