Advent Day 18 – Wednesday, December 13

Thoughts raced through my groggy mind as soon as I woke up. It was an April morning in 1997 and I had an appointment with Sister DelRey Thieman, my spiritual director. But a feeling of angst stirred in me, causing me to have second thoughts about going. In fact, I decided that I did not want to go. My oldest sister had stage four ovarian cancer and would die two months later. Since DelRey was a nun, I did not want to hear about Purgatory or Limbo.

Now granted, in all the deaths over the years that she helped me grieve DelRay never once mentioned Purgatory or Limbo! Not once. But I was convinced that morning that I did not want to go. So I called her with high hopes of getting her answering machine. No such luck.

I quickly said, “Sister DelRey, I won’t be able to come for my appointment this morning,” I thought we’d reschedule and I’d be off the hook. But no, that didn’t happen.

“What’s wrong?” she kindly asked.

“I, uhhh…I don’t feel good,” I stammered.

Yikes! There was the lie! But then she really threw me when she said, “Oh honey, I feel bad for you. I’ll come to your house.”

“Oh, oh…no, no. I’ll just reschedule,” I said as I rushed to hang up the instrument
of deception.

I walked heavily into our kitchen where my husband stood, and groaned, “Owen, I just
lied to a nun!” I felt mortified by my behavior while he just laughed and asked, “Well, how
does that feel?”

Certainly not good. Awful. I felt horrible.

So I plodded back to the scene of the crime and picked up the heavy phone and dialed, this time hoping she would answer. “Sister DelRey, I lied. Can I still keep my appointment?” After a miraculous “healing,” I drove to her office.

We had a good laugh and then came God’s lesson as she said, “I’m glad that you told the truth, but don’t be too proud of your actions; thank God for his Holy Spirit who nudged the truth out of you.”

Dear God, thank you for the wise Counselor you have given to live inside of me.

Delaine Shay