Daily Reflection with Fr. Tomas Del Valle-Reyes



Dear Friends: Praying is not easy. Our daily routine calls for our full attention. And the world around us puts little value on prayer; our lives are full of material things but at the same time are getting emptier in God’s value.

For this reason, I will post a daily reflection and as you visit this site may the Holy Spirit within you come to your aid and guide you gently to the God who loves you
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Monday, September 23, 2013

GOD'S UNDER THE BED

My brother Tomas thinks God lives under his bed. At least that's what I heard him say one night.
He was praying out loud in his dark bedroom, and I stopped outside his closed door to listen. "Are you there, God?" he said. "Where are you? Oh, I see. Under the bed." I giggled softly and tiptoed off to my own room.
Tomas unique perspectives are often a source of amusement. But that night something else lingered long after the humor. I realized for the first time the very different world Tomas lives in. He was born 30 years ago, mentally disabled as a result of difficulties during labor. Apart from his size (he's 6'2"), there are few ways in which he is an adult. He reasons and communicates with the capabilities of a 7 year old, and he always will.
He will probably always believe that God lives under his bed, that Santa Claus is the one who fills the space under our tree every Christmas, and that airplanes stay up in the sky because angels carry them.I remember wondering if Tomas realizes he is different.
Is he ever dissatisfied with his monotonous life? Up before dawn each day, off to work at a workshop for the disabled, home to walk our cocker spaniel, returning to eat his favorite macaroni-and-cheese for dinner, and later to bed. The only variation in the entire scheme are laundry days, when he hovers excitedly over the washing machine like a mother with her newborn child.
He does not seem dissatisfied. He lopes out to the bus every morning at 7:05 eager for a day of simple work. He wrings his hands excitedly while the water boils on the stove before dinner, and he stays up late twice a week to gather our dirty laundry for his next day's laundry chores. And Saturdays -- oh, the bliss of Saturdays! That's the day my dad takes Tomas to the airport to have a soft drink, watch the planes land, and speculate loudly on the destination of each passenger inside. "That one's goin' to Chi-car-go!" Tomas shouts as he claps his hands. His anticipation is so great he can hardly sleep on Friday nights.
I don't think Tomas knows anything exists outside his world of daily rituals and weekend field trips. He doesn't know what it means to be discontent.
His life is simple. He will never know the entanglements of wealth or power, and he does not care what brand of clothing he wears or what kind of food he eats. He recognizes no differences in people, treating each person as an equal and a friend. His needs have always been met, and he never worries that one day they may not be.
His hands are diligent. Tomas is never so happy as when he is working. When he unloads the dishwasher or vacuums the carpet, his heart is completely in it. He does not shrink from a job when it is begun, and he does not leave a job until it is finished. But when his tasks are done, Tomas knows how to relax. He is not obsessed with his work or the work of others.
His heart is pure.
He still believes everyone tells the truth, promises must be kept, and when you are wrong, you apologize instead of argue. Free from pride and unconcerned with appearances, Tomas is not afraid to cry when he is hurt, angry or sorry. He is always transparent, always sincere.And he trusts God. Not confined by intellectual reasoning, when he comes to Christ, he comes as a child. Tomas seems to know God -- to really be friends with Him in a way that is difficult for an "educated" person to grasp. God seems like his closest companion.
In my moments of doubt and frustrations with my Christianity, I envy the security Tomas has in his simple faith. It is then that I am most willing to admit that he has some divine knowledge that rises above my mortal questions.
It is then I realize that perhaps he is not the one with the handicap -- I am. My obligations, my fears, my pride, my circumstances -- they all become disabilities when I do not submit them to Christ.
Who knows if Tomas comprehends things I can never learn?
After all, he has spent his whole life in that kind of innocence, praying after dark and soaking up the goodness and love of the Lord. And one day, when the mysteries of heaven are opened, and we are all amazed at how close God really is to our hearts, I'll realize that God heard the simple prayers of a boy who believed that God lived under his bed.
Tomas won't be surprised at all. - AUTHOR UNKNOWN -

Descubriendo el Siglo 21Padre Tomás Del Valle-Reyes
330 West 38 Street, Suite 503
New York, NY 10018
Tel - 212-244-4778
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