“I must not attempt to control God’s actions. I must not count the stages in the journey he would have me make. I must not desire a clear perception of my advance along the road. I can’t know precisely where I am on the way to holiness… I must leave to him the choice of the means which lead to it.”
~~Mother Teresa, Come and See, by Linda Schaefer
Losing track of Patrick and Candace has shut me down: can’t write, can’t think about them without crying, can’t sort the bags of clothing which people have passed on to me to give away and which need to be out there on the street keeping people clean, warm and dry.
The few paltry insights I have about this situation still don’t give me a handle on why this couple had such an impact on my life, since I’d only known them for a few weeks.
My friend, David, wrote this to me about it:
“I know that you are sad that [Candace and Patrick] have broken up and you have temporarily lost contact with them. However you need not be too discouraged. Life on the streets is not very stable and things can change quickly… remember that God has us on our own separate paths. Sometimes those paths will merge and other times they will diverge…”
This is true and sensible, of course, but I’m as yet unable to derive comfort from it. The impact of the loss is so strong that I feel queasy writing about it. I have to move on and let it work itself out. There are lessons in all of this, that much is clear. But I’m not yet sure what they are and don’t have the perspective at the moment to discern them.
‘Vocation,’ like so many of life’s great processes — birth, death and love, to name three of the most awe-inspiring — isn’t really in our control, and perhaps trying too much to control it can rob it of meaning and power.
[to be continued]