One of the advantages of living in a smaller city is the proximity of places of worship. In my city in Ontario, Canada, there are two churches offering daily Masses within five blocks of my apartment building. I decided when I moved back home that I would not buy a vehicle. Having not driven for seven years, it would have taken a lot of practise for me to have felt confident behind the wheel. I had only been driving a few years prior to moving to a metropolis of several million people, so I felt it wise to now rely on public transportation.
I manage to walk many of the places I need to go, but a few times a week I treat myself to a bus ride from my studio, rather than walk the twelve blocks home. I find this experience humbling as many people recognize my face from the weekly column I write for our daily newspaper. They will smile a friendly greeting, and it is a reminder to me that I am back in my hometown.
I enjoy attending daily Mass; it’s a wonderful way to start a day. Being a widow, I continually adjust to cooking for one person, am without a shared conversation most evenings, as well as finding it necessary to make important life decisions on my own. Within my parish family, many smiles await me before and after the morning service. It is also a privilege to be offered a ride on the days when I am heading to work in my studio. As I have told my ‘driving friends’, you will always find me a grateful passenger who prays thanksgivings for their kindness.
It may seem a simple thing to some people; the offer of a ride. But it is another way that people can bless their neighbours. Whether it is the need of someone to get to a doctor’s appointment, helping a friend to pick up groceries or through a lift to a shopping centre across town, those who have vehicles can bless others by offering them a ride.
There are many other ways that we can assist others. A phone call to an out-of- town relative who is elderly, a visit to someone in hospice care or just a piece of pie to someone in your apartment building, these gestures of love will bless our neighbours. I am sure that we bring a smile to God’s face when we do and will reward us in His own time.