Washington, DC, USA–The Holy Spirit works in mysterious ways, and not necessarily with great fanfare. Often times, I remind people that unlike the movies, where dramatic music underlies every powerful act of God, we do not have such music in our lives. The Holy Spirit acts without music.
I had just arrived from Boston by Amtrak and then Metro (subway) to the campus of Catholic University of America for the tail end of the annual Vigil for Life held at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception last Thursday night (January 27). This is always held on the eve of the Pro-Life March in Washington, which protests the legalization of abortion in this country. I was not wearing my clerics because I was traveling alone and in the wake of a lot of protests throughout the US, especially in the cities along the eastern seaboard of the country, I thought it would be safer to travel without cleric.
The vigil for life just ended and people were leaving the Basilica. I then figured it was best to go to my motel after I got a few pictures. Grabbing a quick supper at the CUA Barnes and Noble and then shopping there for a small card for my phone, to replace the one that became corrupted, I met a young seminarian from St. Louis in his clerics and alone. He was looking for something to power up his now powerless Google Pixel. Again, I was concerned about his safety, although he was not. He needed to find his friend in Maryland where he would be staying. Without his phone, he had no way to contact him or even know how to get to his house in Maryland. Further, he did not know his number because it was on his now powerless phone. I have traveled in my own country and in various Asian and Caribbean and South American countries, I am used to traveling and I know how not to look like a target. I also speak three languages and granted speak them all them like a “Gringo” but I can get around. He was alone, young and in his clerics with no power in his phone to get to his friends house. This had me concerned for his safety in the aftermath of some violent and disturbing protests of the previous week in this same city, especially since he had no way to contact his friend.
I am a writer and whenever I travel, I carry my Chromebook in my backpack. I realized that my Chromebook could fire up his Google Pixel enough for him to contact his friend and so he could find adn arrive to his home safely. I pulled out the computer, put it on the floor of the Barnes and Noble and turned it on. He connected his phone, charged it a bit enough to call his friend. It was like we were trying to contact someone using almost rudimentary means from the field. He learned his friend would meet him in Maryland five stops from the Brookland/CUA station which I knew was only two blocks away. We walked there, he found his way to the train and that was the last I saw him.
The Lord provided, but I was the channel through which He provided and that is because I just happen to carry a computer with me. If it was not me, then the Lord would have found another.
This was Divine Providence. I was just there where God could use me even without my knowledge or planning. The Holy Spirit uses us everyday and the more we give ourselves over to Him, the we more can expect Him to use us in little ways. Meanwhile, know that the Lord does provide, trust in Him always.
Did you heal someone today? probably not. But did God use you today? Probably in more ways than you know. See how God used others to help you today, reflect on it during the day.
Have a blessed week.
Fr. Robert J Carr