Not an ordinary night...
Tuesday night, I picked up one of my best friends and we headed our for our monthly dinner/shopping excursion. As we are coming up the Silver City Galleria Mall in Taunton, I contemplated suggesting we dine at the only restaurant still open there, Bertucci's. As quickly as the thought came to my mind, along with it the reminder that I had gained .4 lbs this week (#WeightWatchersFail) and the last thing I should be eating is Italian food. So I keep driving, as my friend, unaware of my quick chat with myself, continues sharing about a recent family trip. I pull into the shopping complex about a mile from the mall and we ironically settle on dining at the Olive Garden - yep, I know - duh Allison - that is Italian food. As an aside: I was however able to find a nice lighter fare chicken and veggie dish (no pasta #WeightWatchersSuccess).
Our decision to eat there instead of the Mall, also meant slimmer shopping options, which not only had us home earlier than expected but also was much gentler on my current budget. All seem inconsequential - until I was home for less than a half-hour when Facebook started blow up with news of a stabbing/shooting incident at the Mall and more specifically in Bertucci's! I would later learn that a beloved member of our parish would be among the dead (see note below).
SO where are the successes in all of this? It is in the lessons one takes away in the face of tragedy and disbelief that something so heinous can happen, especially to someone who was so devoted to God. The success, which is not so small, from being able to find God among the circumstances when the world would be convinced that He had abandoned those hurt or killed. It is easy for me to say, God is real and Guardian Angels rock, because my friend and I seemed to be spared in this ordeal - but I think this is when it is extra important to count those blessings. The spiritual muscle memory this creates could come in very handy when finding God in my life's situation becomes difficult or even impossible. The why of this troubled man's actions can and are only understood by God. That same God who promises us is to bring good (Romans 8:28) from this and that He has never nor will ever abandon us (Deuteronomy 31:6). Those promises are what propel me out of bed each day regardless of my anxiety. This story and what good God will bring from it, is still unfolding and is yet to be told; however here is what I have gleamed so far:
Prayers for the Victims, especially ...
Please keep Patricia Slavin (and the other victims and yes even the assailant) in your prayers!
As for Pat, she was always quick with a smile and kind word. We spent time last summer counting money at our church together. She also came to a retreat I held there as well last year. I enjoyed spending time with her, laughing with her, and being able to witness her absolutely INCREDIBLE faith.
All Rights Reserved, Allison Gingras 2016
Cover Image courtesy EmbeddedFaith.org - Cindi has LOTS of amazing images to use for your Facebook or Social Media accounts. Be sure to check them out!