Earlier this week a friend dropped by and did us a HUGE favor.  I had only asked him for a referral of someone in a particular line of work, and before we knew it, he was looking into the matter himself.  We needed a service.  We were clueless.  He had all the know-how.

Our friend spent about forty-five minutes – time away from his own family and own matters to tend to – at our home looking into what had gone wonky within our walls.  And, making it look waaaaaay easier than we ever could have, he righted the problem and put us back to functional.

Which is better than we had been in more than a month.

The kicker?  When I asked what we owed him, he said, “Awwwww, nothing!!”

And he meant it.  (*facepalm*)

I let him leave, thinking to myself that I would find a way to sneak something AWESOME his way.  The former Baptist in me wanted to prepare covered dishes and feed his family for the rest of the week.  The Catholic in me wondered if he was a scotch, wine, or imported beer kinda guy.   I weighed the options with Dom, who had a brighter idea: Call his wife.

So before this sweet man could arrive back at his own home, I was dialing up his wife and asking what in the world I could do to show our appreciation for his selflessness and generosity.  She replied (as I should have known she would) with, “Not a thing!!!  Listen honey, what goes around comes around!”

I tried to argue with her and insist that I do something valuable for him, but if you’ve ever tried to insist anything to a sweet-as-she-is-smart Southern woman, you know you’re spinning your wheels.  She finally said the best thing we could do is pray for them, specifically, that it would mean a great deal if I said the rosary for her husband.

Now, I’m not much of a rosary pray-er.  I chant along on Saturdays before Mass, and I have sat through a few rosaries at funeral vigils.  And I lovvvvvvvvvve my rosary beads and frequently pray while holding them.  But the rosary as a prayer itself?  Sadly, not my forte.

But don’t you think for a minute I was gonna let these dear people down!  I grabbed my rosary beads and thought twice about stealing Victoria’s How to Pray the Rosary pamphlet.  I decided I could probably find my own pamphlet at the office and spend a little extra time in my pew after morning Mass.  I’ve never been very good with pre-written prayers.  I tend to wing it more often than not.  But, lately, I’ve been doing A LOT of praying and (surprise, surprise) running out of my own words.  So the pamphlets have found their place amongst my go-to items.

As I opened my prayer book (a gift from two sorority sisters on the event of my Confirmation, and one for which I am still so very grateful) I realized that cute, soft little book has instructions for praying the rosary.  And it’s been in my possession all these years.  Who knew?!

While meditating on anything other than conversational prayer, my mind tends to wander (not far, but still…).  Amid my Hail Marys today my mind wandered to the beads in my hands.  Crystal cut, shiny and smooth.  I thought about how each bead has so many facets to it – so many different angles.  Sharp and linear like our problems and our worries, but also smooth and easy like our blessings.  I thought about how when you turn the bead a certain way, one face of it appears more visible than any other, catching the light so that your attention is drawn to it, and away from the other faces.  Sort of like a problem that keeps your mind busy with worry – you don’t notice all the blessings on the other sides of the bead.  And then, that one little bead is connected to so many others on a tiny chain of links.  Links that keep you and me together – in prayer, in community, in hope.  All of us – all of our worries and blessings, personalities and quirks, habits and passions – are strung together on one life-sized rosary, begging to be prayed over and used for their intended purpose.  I thank my sweet friend for unknowingly leading me to this revelation.  As tiny as this thought is, it brought me enormous peace.

So, yes, I am keeping my promise to my friend to pray the rosary for her husband.  I know prayer is powerful in the journal of gratitude.  But I still think a wine-and-cheese basket would be a nice punctuation mark! 😉