Speak Freely
Off the Wall, September 10,

Did you ever wonder why so few people don’t mention the Lord Jesus Christ in their daily conversations, yet go to Church sometimes doing the day? Is it that one should mention Him while there and keep Him hush hush outside of the building?

I have only to think of Harry Hazenbaum, Frankfurt, Idaho, who I’ve known for any number of years. He loves to talk about the Lord when he phones me during the evening. His first question will usually be, “What was the gospel message today?
That’s not always an easy question to answer, for the time he calls is usually late at night and I read my scriptures first thing after rising.

There is certainly a lot of goings on that filled the slots between then and my evening interrogation that it requires a bit of pause and a little noodle scratching until that one particular cell relinquishes the subject matter at hand. Once I put two and two together, I’m able to make some sense, and my “radio-pulpiting method” is revealed in so many words and more.

Then the big question is let out of the bag. “Hey Harry, if you are filled with such joy when talking about the Lord, are you sharing that news with people with whom you come in contact? Actually, that sounds like a stupid question. But guess what? What I heard was something unbelievable, at least in my opinion.

For instance, when I first met my wife, my mood was even keeled. As we became closer, something started churning within me that sparked desire to want to tell others about my new found love. Something was happening all about me and it was a sensation I hadn’t entertained for a long, long time. As our relationship grew, so the desire to tell a few more I had a girl friend I truly loved. What joy!

But that subject need not come in “big packages,” but small, as well.

I can only think of little Bobby Wormpuler, 4, Kneedown, Vermont. He had never been fishing. He had always watched his father leave on a fishing trip, but never was invited to go. During evening hours, his dad, William, would return with a stringer full of big species of all kinds that he would filet and freeze or grill for some mighty good eating that evening.

One day, William took used one of his vacation days from work and decided to take his son fishing. The smile on Bobby’s face was priceless. But nothing could have compared to the expressions of joy when the youth caught his first fish.

Moments like this are often treasured and talked about down through the ages.

And then there was Sarah Seelittle, Darkenburg, Pennsylvania. Since birth, this middle-aged woman was partially blind. She could make out figures and movement, but when it came to detail, her senses were dulled and the mechanisms most of us take for granted just didn’t respond.

One day she heard of a healing Mass being held nearby at St. Theresa’s Church, Belle Verna, and asked if someone would take her there. She had a fervent trust in the Lord and was hoping He would heal her so that she could go forth and spread God’s Word with fullness of sight.

As she stood in line, Sarah not only waited patiently for her turn, but also prayed to the Blessed Mother to intervene on her behalf. She knew that the mother of Jesus loved her also so much that added intervention would be a plus during this time of desired healing.

Standing before Father Sigismund, finally, he laid his hands on her head and asked about her intentions. “I want to be free of my blindness,” Sarah said, “so I go forth and spread my joy with others as a witness for His love.” Father prayed over her and the two departed. There was no instant healing.

Upon waking the next morning, Sarah saw the light, no just a small amount, but all of it. God had healed her as she asked. Can you imagine the joy she must have felt? Her faith had set her free of her infirmities.

These three examples should give us reason to include Jesus Christ in our everyday speech. Not all our joys are going to come in big packages. Sometimes the little ones are easier to talk about.

Let’s not hold back. Stepping out of one’s comfort zone can bear real blessings!

- Paul J. Volkmann
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