Once upon a time, a young person came across a cottage deep within a forest. This cottage was a truly magical abode since it was the home of the Master Builder. Upon approaching the front door, the young person raised their hand to knock. The door opened and a voice said, “Welcome my daughter/son! Come right in!”

As the young person’s eyes adjusted to the room’s lighting, they saw the project on which the Master Builder was working; a life-size crucifix. The Corpus was lying on the table while the cross was propped against the wall.

The young person marveled over its beauty and approached this work of art with great reverence, and walked all around the table to examine it from every angle. It seemed alive, even though the grain of the wood was very much apparent.

The Master Builder smiled and whispered, “Touch it!” The young person hesitantly reached out to touch the wood, and was transported to another place and time: to Mount Calvary, sitting on the apex of the cross with Jesus hanging from it. The young person looked out from the cross across the ages and saw myriads upon myriads of individuals from every race pilgrimaging toward the cross in a serpentine fashion. The crowds were too numerous to count.  The young person was truly moved to see the depth of their holiness and love.

The young person asked, “Who are these people?” The Voice of the Master Builder said, “These are the ones who have completely responded to the grace of salvation. The Lamb will shepherd them and lead them to springs of eternal life.”

Off to the left was a very large group of people, also from every race and nation, encircling within and around themselves. The young person cried out, “Who are they?” The Voice responded, “They have sinned, been wicked and done evil; they have rebelled and departed from my commandments and my laws. They have hardened their hearts against my prophets. They have all lost hope and now they live in despair.”

Tears gushed down the young person’s face. “Is my brother/sister/son/daughter in their midst?” The Voice whispered back, “Yes!” With that, the young person wailed in grief.

Coming back to their senses and realizing that once more they stood in the Master Builder’s cottage, the young person whispered, “Why did you show me this?”

“My love for you is beyond what you can comprehend. I know that you understand and know this from the depth of your soul. Listen to their stories and lead them toward me by showing your love of them. I will be with you through every step of the way.”

You might ask, “What is purpose of this story?”

YOU ARE the young woman, the young man, in this story! God has called YOU to proclaim his love to those you live with and meet every day! Yes, YOU! How do you do that? Though sacred listening, sacrificial loving and steadfast guiding toward Christ. Come, let us do this together!

By Sister Geralyn Schmidt, SCC, Special to The Witness