I think I may have written about this incident before… but when I was thinking of things I was most grateful for, this is what came to mind.
I was on retreat and my retreat director had gone to visit his sick mother. I was obsessed with coming to a decision about whether or not I ought to go back to Japan. I was going nuts, so I called an Irish Jesuit friend who was studying in Washington, D.C.
I told him my tale of woe and his response was, “You’re in the kitchen fretting but Jesus is waiting for you in the living room. Go to him.”
As I type these words, they seem quite banal but they were the ones I desperately needed to hear. Metaphorically, I left the kitchen and went to sit with Jesus in the living room. I stopped agonizing and debating and second-guessing and I just waited to hear what the Lord had to say to me.
I loved Japan very much and the decision not to return was probably one of the most difficult choices I’ve ever had to make. But because of Jim’s 18 wise words to me, it was a decision that, finally, I was able to make with great serenity.
I will always be grateful for those words of wisdom.