I had planned for daily Mass before setting out that morning. From my calculations it was less than 10 minutes away so we wouldn't have to get up super early and it would be a nice way to start our day. Unfortunately, when I plugged the address into my GPS it came back with nothing. I wanted very much to forget it and drive on but I didn't. I got out of the car, walked back into the hotel, and asked for directions.
Ten minutes later, we arrived at St. Michael's parish in Sioux Falls.
The chapel in which they held daily Mass was tiny...like 4 chair rows, 5 rows on each side. I walked in with five kids so we were two seats short already. Two of the five were feeling ornery, which only made it more of a challenge.
God rewards all honest attempts at good. I know this because the priest walked in and said, "I have no time to sing today, I have to get to the cathedral (Sioux Falls was celebrating their 125th anniversary beginning that day!) so I will ask that you sing your favorite hymn on the way home." (we sang "Immaculate Mary") He then proceeded to officiate a meaningful and extremely brief Mass. Considering the behavior of #s 4 and 5, I was grateful.
When we were walking out and an older man approached us and said, "do you have a rocking horse for them?" I thought he was commenting on the need for me to find a way to exhaust the pent-up energy exhibited by tiny man. I told him, sadly, I did not.
Then he offered to give me one. I suppose I gave him an odd look, so he explained. He is retired and had 8 children of his own (three in one year) and now he makes rocking horses to give away. He just completed #95 and they are all over the states, including Alaska. He does all this by approaching families at Mass.
As we followed to his car, I couldn't help but wonder at this man. He found a way to use his talents to make children happy and give to those who could never, in any way, return his gift. I shy away from saying I hear God speaking to me but once I saw the horse, I knew that it belonged to our godson, who we would see in a few days. It was his first birthday gift.
|Blondie trying it out in the parking lot|
|See? It fits him perfectly.|
|it's not just corn...|
It was a blessed day from start to finish. The people we saw, the experiences we had...there is something a bit more wholesome out there. Farming ties you to the land which must often tie you to God, since so much of it is out of your control. The genuineness of the people was clear; it was a gift to witness. As DH remarked, "not a Lexus in sight" ;0)
We are blessed.