Thursday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time
By SOPHIE DRUFFNER
Today, my presence in the house became nothing but 1.5 plastic boxes in the closet where the “memory” things are kept.
In these last few weeks before I leave to college, my things have slowly accumulated in my dad’s study. My bunny from my younger years, lots of colored pencils and crayons, and of course, a few school supplies have stacked up on the Guest Bedroom bed. As I walk through the house, I’ve taken to looking at the walls carefully, trying to remember exactly what they look like.
In the past few days, I’ve been feeling rather forlorn. Something in me feels that my parents are really excited to get rid of me and just dump me on my university sidewalk with all my stuff and then leave me. Of course the rational part of me knows that this isn’t true (well, not completely), but it’s going to be painful to leave my grandparents, sisters, even my parents, even if I am really excited for the challenging courses, opportunities to learn how to swing dance in the Catholic group, and to finally meet my awesome roommate. (Somehow, Snapchatting just isn’t the same).
Feeling forlorn has led me to look at the walls even more closely, trying to imagine all shouted and whispered words that they have heard. Somewhere in those walls are the apologies and the fights. Somewhere in there are the eyes that saw each time my sisters hit and hugged each other. And now I’m leaving all of that. Just like the eyes of T.J. Eckleberg, the eyes in those walls have seen everything. Or at least, all the things that matter.
If I were to go into these partly metaphorical walls, I think I would see all the fights stacked up higher than the stack of accumulate apologies. But somehow, I think that the apology stack would be thicker, more stable. They would matter more. Because no matter what the walls have seen, the apologies are always the most powerful. It’s much harder to shake someone’s hand after a fight than to hit them.
In the Veggie Tales, one episode focuses on the phrase “seventy-seven times.” (This is usually taken as seventy, added to itself seven times). But all the vegetables are confused, because once they reach 490 apologies, aren’t they done? Isn’t that it? With arguments as frequent as mine and my sisters’, I’m sure we’ve reached 490 apologies already and are well beyond that. But Jesus meant infinitely apologizing, just as he infinitely forgives us. And if he can infinitely forgive us for our murders, wars, examples of aggression, and arguments, then we can forgive anyone else, anyone at all.