Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Scandal of the Chair Cross

Having returned from the orthopedic surgeon, the left shoulder is hopefully a muscle problem and not the rotator cuff.  It should improve by the end of the week; if not, I am to return.  It is embarrassing to have to say how the shoulder was injured, right after their knowing how the other shoulder was injured and the resultant surgery.  Yes, as a friend reminded, I explained it in a delicate manner with some humor. 

I'd promised I'd try to write about the Holy Ghost sermons of St. John of Avila upon return.  However, friends called to find out the doctor results and to help figure out now about the chair, how to get it from inside the chapel's wheelchair area through some double doors and behind the holy water receptacle, after Mass, and to retrieve it and set it up, prior.  Obviously, the elderly are not going to be asked, although it is they who would want to help as age tends to succor needs through compassion.

Outdoor Interiors 10040 Eucalyptus Folding Side Chair 

This morning a young woman sat nearby and remained after Mass.  I ventured to ask if she would be wiling to put the chair away.  Ah, youth!  We love the directness and common sense in some!  She immediately asked why it had to be put anywhere?  What was wrong with it just staying where it was?  She was incredulous.  I explained that "they" wanted it put out through the double doors in the back and tucked behind the holy water receptacle.  This time she shrugged and again asked, "Why?"  She thought it unnecessary.  So I went to the double doors to see where is this holy water receptacle, and would have had to go through the doors to find it; but I did not go through the doors.  They are immensely heavy, and I could not open them given my two pained shoulders. 

Returning to the astute young woman, I commented, "You know, we are all Christians here, aren't we?"  She nodded and smiled.  I continued, "I think you are correct that there is nothing wrong with the chair here, and if someone stronger and abler is bothered and wants to carry it back and put it behind the holy water receptacle, he or she is welcome to do so."  The young woman nodded and smiled again, returned to her prayers, but not before I told her how very intelligent and adorable she is...for she is!  What sensible thinking!

How I've been beleaguered with simply trying to have a seat I can sit on in Mass for the past over two years is, again, scandalous yet laughable.  Each day I'd wrestle the chair in and out of the car, lug it in, lug it out--other than when I could not due to the right shoulder rotator cuff problem.  But today it took a young woman with her no-nonsense Christianity to affirm that there is nothing wrong with a wood folding chair in the wheelchair area; there is plenty of space for other disabled.  I suppose I looked ancient to her, as well, and what was I doing worrying about relocating a chair... anywhere?  

We must not forget that at least sometimes, Christian reason must prevail over nonsense that becomes a scandal to others possessed with wholly, holy common sense understanding.   As a long-time friend has suggested:  It would be nice if there was a little bit of charity in this situation.  I suppose the dearth of administrative charity has been the scandal of the chair cross, all along.  Yet it is a glorious cross, despite the ludicrous aspects.  This chair cross was one of spiritual illumination, highlighted this morning by a 20-something's simple and stark wisdom.   The best part: she agreed, "We are Christians."

Now the image comes of the priest on Holy Thursday kneeling before parishioners while washing and drying their naked feet.  Surely a wood folding chair left in the chapel for an older, handicapped parishioner is not an inexcusable scandal, we hope and pray. 

St. John of Avila, enlighten us!  I will share your thoughts on the Holy Ghost in the very next post!

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