This year Katherine and I have the good fortune of spending our vacation (a good part of Lent) in Florida. During our travels, we have met a lot of people in a variety of circumstances from planes and airports, to the hotel where we stayed, restaurants, boat rides, and the beach. We even met people in churches where we worshipped. Travelling with a young handicapped adult can be quite an adventure – especially with an extrovert like Katherine Cross.
I have learned that I have to walk at a slower pace so not to go way ahead of my short-legged daughter, for whom every journey is a search for people to meet. I try to give her as much independence as I judge is safe, and often let her mingle on her own. Inevitably, I discover her in animated conversation with anyone who will respond to her naïve, “Hi! I’m Katherine. I’m from Maine; where are you from?”
After her innocent encounters when we are alone, she always informs me, “Hey, Dad. I met a friend!” And she is thrilled to have connected with another human being who was sensitive and kind enough to respond to her open and engaging advance. While she is particularly drawn to young men, (why should anyone be surprised?) her cadre of new acquaintances covers the range of all sorts and conditions of humanity. Like her late mother, she is very intuitive and is drawn to people who share gifts of the Spirit, like she herself possesses.
The resurrection story comes to us early this year. As we personally enter the Century-old narrative of discovering a new perspective on life and love, perhaps Katherine has a lot to teach us about the mandate to connect with one another and new neighbors.
Mary Magdalene thought she was talking to the gardener and discovered it was Jesus. Katherine has a deep faith in Love and a naïve sense that all the people she meets, like Jesus, care about her and want to love her back.
Repeating Mary’s story is a stretch of the imagination to say the least, and sharing that great love mystery takes a measure of child-like innocence. When Mary heard Jesus call her name, she responded, “Teacher!”
I can’t help but think she continued to tell her friends, “I met a friend!”
Katherine and I wish you the excitement of meeting new friends with whom to share your Easter Love story.