Of Course

by Cheryl Ann Smith

For some reason, my heart keeps returning to a story one of my sisters in the community recently recounted. When she was tiny, her father would tuck her into bed and tell her a story.

The tale would spring from his imagination and was magical, and oh, how she looked forward to it. But every once in a while, her father would fall asleep in the middle of the telling.

“What did you do?”, I asked. “Well, wake him up, of course” was the reply.

This little girl didn’t have the insight that her father was working long and hard hours to provide for her and was exhausted. She had no doubt that of course he wanted to finish her story. And it was true: upon waking and seeing this sweet, expectant face, what else would he want?

Recently, on a beautiful sunny day, we all went hiking on the moors. Heading to the highest point, we were tired and hot and began to fantasize about ice cream.

Up ahead was a solitary trailer and we joked, “Maybe that man has ice cream!”

Suddenly an image popped in my mind of Joanne as a child, marching up to the owner and asking if he had ice cream for her. Could he possibly refuse? Of course she didn’t do so, but the image stuck.

Shortly after, we visited a priest who was beleaguered and suffering. Joanne had earlier confided that she needed to go to Confession, and was considering asking him. Inwardly I thought, “Oh no, we need to minister to him today.” But after the visit, she knew she could confidently make her request and of course, it was his joy to do so.

When I remarked on this pattern she confided, “I’m so little and helpless, God has to help me out, and so I ask him for everything—resolving a relationship problem, showing me the next step in my life, bringing someone with wisdom to help shed light on a situation, revealing truth to my heart. He has to come through for me!”

I couldn’t help but remember the audacity of St Therese, the Little Flower, who would reach up to her father, confident that of course he wanted to lift her above the arduous staircase that was too much for her, and draw her to himself.

And of course her Father would supply all that she needed, because she had no strength of her own. She delighted in her littleness and need, because her heavenly Father would provide everything.

How often do we strive with all our might to overcome an obstacle, and fall exhausted and frustrated because we can’t manage it? It’s usually only at this point that we finally remember to ask God for His grace—and of course he wants to lavish it!

Or how many times do we worry and fret about our unworthiness, instead of simply asking for forgiveness and mercy? How could God refuse anything to a heart trusting in his great love? Of course he wants to finish our story!