like a child

"Truly, I say to you,
whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child
shall not enter it." (Mk 10.15)

Yesterday I was telling Heather about a conversation I had with Catherine in South Bend. I'd been describing my surprise about Heather, how I was not looking for a girlfriend when I met her, and even when I had imagined a woman who might embrace me, it was not a woman like her. I'd imagined a physically and mentally tough woman. One who was frugal, used to roughing it, who could handle a hard life of voluntary poverty. If any woman would put up with a life like mine, I thought it would be a woman like that. And that's not Heather.

But as I wondered about that, I realized something. I'm not like that either.

It's not toughness that has drawn me into this path or enabled me to persevere. It's not frugality or hard work that have made it possible. It's grace. And because of that, the path hasn't made me harder as I walk it, but meeker, gentler, more willing to be vulnerable and dependent. More childlike.

And that's what Heather is like, in the very best sense. A child. With a heart that wants to believe, to trust, to hope. Idealistic. Wanting to be a saint, because that's the very best thing to be (why don't all Christians want that?). Open. Eager. With hands up, ready to be lifted by God.

I won't beatify her any more than that. I'll just say: Me, too.