Marcy S., age 47, North Carolina

Last visit with Pickett and a very meaningful one. Hope I can remember at least some of the good, strong, hopeful positive things he said.

The leap of faith — when I’m afraid to make a friendly gesture or the first move in a relationship (we were talking about Nettie), don’t sit around waiting for the Lord to free me of hang-ups, but act — say something like, Lord, you promised to be with me so here I go — don’t let me down!

Faith and love are often actions before they become feelings — if I had waited until I felt like going to visit at the rest home I’d probably have never gone. Don’t wait for feelings to be right before acting.

It’s not impossible for God to change my feelings of inferiority and fear and insecurity, etc. while I wait passively for Him to do it — but I think that most of the time at least He wants me to jump right into the situation and boldly expect Him to give me the strength, courage, or whatever I need. This is responding to God, not me on my own.

Christ died for me, Marcy — He loves me that much. And even though I feel so “not ok” deep down inside that I can’t really accept or believe that, He’s going to convince me some day. He’s going to win in the end.

The Eucharist is an offering of ourselves, with all our burdens and hang-ups. I can take my albatross (Jimmy, sex, parents, husband, not ok feelings) to the altar and let Christ take it. “Come unto me all ye who travail and are heavy laden and I will refresh you.”