By Kate Anderson
“You look at churches like I look at pie.” I squinted at my observant fella, keenly aware of the truth in his words. Call it hysterical, cringe worthy, or cute, but it was absolute fact. Courting from a thousand miles away means a marathon weekend every month replete with plenty of pie and churches. We live with great awareness that this complementarity brings much satisfaction to belly and soul whenever we are together.
My sweetheart first uttered these profound(ish) words while exploring our nation’s roots on the East Coast. In spite of eating our way from harbor to hill, us tourists were still hungry that afternoon for something beautiful, true, and good. The sidewalk gelato came close, but the sidewalk entertainment was simply nauseating. Herds of vacationers drew our attention to the unsightly scene. Though nobody was injured by stunts that day, the offensive humor attacking our beloved faith was doing great damage to innocent souls. We lingered not and hoped that other street-side happenings might be more life-giving; two brief sidewalk stops later were equally disappointing though. Far from finding sustenance for the soul, I completely lost my peace in the crowds that afternoon.
Fortunately, the gentleman at my side noticed the change in my demeanor. Unable to express my overwhelmed state, he did the most chivalrous thing possible and started walking me home. No, we didn’t start hoofing it thousands of miles back to my Midwest roots. What a blessing that this faithful fella knew a shortcut to my dearest dwelling.
We beelined it for that beautiful steeple, crossed the threshold of hope, and walked into the most welcoming abode imaginable. Sinking wearily to the kneeler, I gave my escort a grateful glance and breathed a sigh of relief. Peace returned to my soul in that little Italian Church with my dearest beside me and our Beloved in the tabernacle ahead: “There’s no place like Home.”
Even on vacation, we can’t escape Jesus’ words, “How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few” (Matthew 7:14). This pilgrimage heavenward is fraught with trials and tribulations. Our doubtful discouragement about the path ahead so often echoes Thomas, “How can we know the way?” Ahh, but our fearless, water-walking Captain Christ only looks at us with love and says “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).
Our Savior doesn’t sugar-coat or à la mode this hard truth: The path is marked, the road is narrow, and the travelers are few. I can’t promise a piece of pie much less a lifetime of happiness, but we can rest assured that the Bread of Life will strengthen us until we reach the Eternal Banquet of Love. May we take heart and join hands, embracing this blessed task of walking each other Home.
“’These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress . . . The one who sits on the throne will shelter them. They will not hunger or thirst anymore, nor will the sun or any heat strike them. For the Lamb who is in the center of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to springs of life-giving water; and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’” (Revelation 7:14-17).
About the author:
Kate Anderson is a young lady with an old soul. She spends her days communicating and marketing for a Catholic school. Kate enjoys conversing with kindred spirits over warm beverages, reading spiritual books, and returning to her rural roots.