An Unplanned Friendship

Reflection read by Laura Best, Church Outreach Coordinator

An Unplanned Friendship

By Deacon Jim Nalls, Angel Friend Team Coordinator at St. Patrick’s in Rockville, Maryland

She takes a sip and puts her mug down on the table of the coffee shop, letting the warmth flow into her fingers.  She has noticed that her hands are chilly more often these days.  She rests her hand on her stomach and thinks back.  

After the first helpline call, she had felt better.  Not like everything was fixed, but better.  She had a plan, and someone to help her do it.  Today, she was taking the next step.  She glanced up again at the two women at the table with her.  Though she’d never met them before, they looked at her like she was one of their own.  Actually, like both of them were.  Why were they here, ready to help a stranger?  What was an Angel Friend, and could they and their church really do for her and her child? 

Over the coming weeks and months, she would find out first hand.  First, it was advice and encouragement from their own pregnancies. They helped her get to her first doctor’s appointments, and then translated what the doctor had said.  Now as she got her hospital-bag ready, she put in the slippers, outfits, and prayer cards from the baby shower.  As she closed the bag and thought back to that first meeting, she realized that her Angel Friends had given her something else as well: peace. The peace of knowing that a whole church is in your corner.  


My friends, we are in the Easter season. But in reality, we live all our lives in the Easter age. Our entire existence is based on the wondrous knowledge of Jesus’ resurrection.  Even as our lives are turned upside down by a global pandemic, we live in God’s peace.

Picture a beautiful little newborn baby boy. His name is Jesus. Feel the love that his mother, Mary, has for her child. Imagine the joy she feels holding her firstborn baby. 

Jesus grows to adulthood.  Once at a party with friends and Mary asks Jesus for a favor. Even though he doesn’t think it is a good idea, Jesus does what his mother asks. His actions make him a celebrity. She follows him as he shares his kindness and wisdom with everyone that he meets. Thousands praise his name. Mary is amazed that this bothers some people. 

Time goes by and the crowds grow larger, more emotional. They travel from the small country villages to the big city of Jerusalem. The crowd is whipped into a frenzy. His friends desert him. Mary stands by helpless as her baby is beaten and tortured in an unimaginable way. She holds his lifeless tattered body to the breast that nursed him years ago.

Days go by. Her grief is crippling. Jesus said that he would return but there has been no sign of him. He said that he would triumph over death, but Mary can only remember holding his bloodied corpse in her own arms.  

Mary is staying in a small room by herself in the house of one of Jesus’ friends. The sun is just starting to brighten the morning sky. Mary did not sleep at all. She is scared. She is confused. She is alone. All seems lost.  

Then there is a sound. A sound that engulfs the entire room with it’s softness. “Mary, Mother, it’s me Jesus. Peace be with you.”

The peace of Jesus be with you all, and with every mother helped by Gabriel Network. God Bless you.

25 Years of Saving Lives

18,000+
Women and Childen Served
38
Active Angel Friend Teams
2
Maternity Homes
1500+
Helpline Contacts this Year

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