Where y’at, y’all?

Published 7:00 am Saturday, March 12, 2016

It had been a very busy afternoon at the fast-food restaurant and Rosalyn was beat to her bones.
She thought it must have been a full moon, as all of the crazies seemed to show up on her dinner shift. Briefly thinking about the luxury of soon putting her up her aching feet, for at least a few minutes, her mind began to take inventory of the next labors. Slowly pacing across the asphalt parking lot and unlocking the driver’s door, she soon felt the deliciously comfortable fabric seat of her aging Buick and turn on the air conditioning full blast. “Ahhh…,” she said to herself, “Heaven!”.
Rosalyn had a very full plate and worked two jobs, was long married, and a mom of three growing and active teenage kids. Her husband, Danny, worked hard too, but had recently lost his job in the “oil patch.” He was about to take a much lower paying job at the local supermarket. All was not dark and dismal, however, as they lived responsibly and they knew how to stretch a penny to a nickel.
Slowly, turning onto Beech Street, the aging Buick passed the familiar homes of her Picayune neighborhood. Getting close to the house, Rosalyn could see that Danny’s truck was gone. It was not a particular worry, as he was often doing errands. What was of particular note, was the absence of the kids. They had left the usual assortment of bikes, toys and other youthful temporary refuse in the yard. Pulling in to the driveway, and exiting the car, all was strangely quiet.
“Where y’at, y’all?” asked the mother, with a bit of concern in her tone. There was no reply. She repeated her question with greater urgency, with no answer from within…or without.
Swiftly entering through the side door of the house, she could quickly see the small note propped up against the Tony’s on the kitchen table. “Went to the store with the kids. Hope you had a great day! We’ll be back soon. Love, Danny.” Now able to finally relax, she kicked off her shoes, yawned and stretched, while kicking out the foot of the recliner. It was simply bliss and all was right with the world.
As Rosalyn had the much needed information, to be secure in her knowledge of her family’s well-being, consider that we too should often be asking ourselves, about ourselves, “Where y’at, y’all?” Now, this language may not be the most correct, and it may grate on the ears of some. Yet, the expression does ask us the important question of the varied stages in our lives and our places in it. It asks for a reflection, of our current understandings with ourselves, others and God, and the potential for change, for the better.
As Rosalyn was asking for the physical location of her family, she was also seeking knowledge of their emotional well-being. Implicit, in the short note, was the secure feeling all was OK. If the note had said they were headed to Highland Hospital, the resultant reaction would have been quite different.
In these Pre-Easter days, called Lent to some, we are called upon to reflect, and consider, the reasoned reply to the question of where our relationship is with our Creator. Unlike the clarity of the husband’s note in the kitchen, our communication with God is less clear, as “we see though a glass darkly.” It is as though the answers only come from the darkened heavens; as on a moonless night, with only the pinpricks of starry light illuminating our minds and hearts with God’s truth. Indeed, it is incumbent upon ourselves to take time to offer thanksgiving and to reexamine the place we find ourselves in God’s house, listening to that still, small voice of the Holy Spirit.
Of course, the question is far too great a challenge for some to consider. However, in the ultimate analysis, the reward is great. In the effort, comes a greater understanding of our God and where we are “at,” with Him.

By Father Jonathan Filkins

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