Friday, October 4, 2013

The Things We Leave Undone

It's finally cool enough for us to walk to mass again without giving up and laying down on the side of the road while Chris runs home for the car and an emergency pick up.  And by "cool enough" I most certainly do not mean that Fall has arrived, that probably won't happen until late December--I guess I should say it's just less hot now.  If you would like to serenade me with a tiny violin for the burden I bear of living in a semi-tropical paradise without seasonal changes, now would be a good time--I'm sure my husband would love to do a duet........

Anyway, last week walking to mass meant that we passed by an older lady who was experiencing car trouble and I nudged Chris to go and see if he could help her.  She thought her car had broken down--it turned out she just needed to put her car in park so that she could unstick her keys and start her ignition, which would have been funny if Chris hadn't also had to fix a similar 'problem' for me in the past.  She was so grateful, and I was so happy that we stopped and didn't just pass her by on our way to something that seemed more important.

Well, during mass Father read this poem during his homily and I was even more grateful:

The Sin of Omission
It isn't the thing you do, dear,
It's the thing you leave undone
That gives you a bit of a heartache
At setting of the sun.
The tender work forgotten,
The letter you did not write,
The flowers you did not send, dear,
Are your haunting ghosts at night.

The stone you might have lifted
Out of a brother's way;
The bit of heartsome counsel
You were hurried too much to say;
The loving touch of the hand, dear,
The gentle, winning tone
Which you had no time nor thought for
With troubles enough of your own.

Those little acts of kindness
So easily out of mind,
Those chances to be angels
Which we poor mortals find -
They come in night and silence,
Each sad, reproachful wraith,
When hope is faint and flagging,
And a chill has fallen on faith.

For life is all too short, dear,
And sorrow is all to great,
To suffer our slow compassion
That tarries until too late:
And it isn't the thing you do, dear,
It's the thing you leave undone
Which gives you a bit of heartache
At the setting of the sun. 

Margaret Elizabeth Sangster
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