Starting Point
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Issue Date:  October 20, 2006

Starting Point


With my family out of town for the weekend and being in the mood for new challenges, I decided to go to Mass at a church that was new to me. Walking into the unknown church brought me an uncomfortable yet excited feeling, similar to how I feel when I walk in the woods at night.

Entering the old church, I noticed that few people were there and I worried that I might have come at the wrong time. I asked the three people who had gathered in the back if I was there at the right time, and they assured me that I was.

I crawled into an old pew, my nervousness not ebbing in the darkened interior. In the hymnal holder on the back of the pew in front of me, someone had left a folded piece of paper torn from a spiral notebook.

My curiosity piqued, I reached for it and opened up it. Inside was a child’s drawing of a large house that nearly filled the paper. On the top of the steep roof of the home was a chimney with a twirl of smoke rising up. It seemed a clear indication of the warmth that existed within the home.

In the top right hand corner of the paper, a large beaming sun filled nearly a quarter of the page. Sun rays reached down toward the rest of the paper and all it contained. That seemed a clear sign of the warmth of creation.

Three windows let the sunlight into the house, and a doorway allowed the people within to go out; clear indicators of the need for the people to be connected to the rest of creation. The anonymous artist had written an inscription on the top of the paper over the house that read, “A house is big. I am littil.” That was a clear sign that the young artist humbly accepted his or her place in that beautiful creation.

My fears were lifted, and I smiled and enjoyed my evening at Mass in the now familiar church.

Tom Jablonski writes from Blaine, Minn.

National Catholic Reporter, October 20, 2006

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