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Shortly after we converted to the Catholic Church in 1979, a woman from my former Episcopal parish died, and I was asked to come back to do the funeral. My Catholic Bishop gave permission for a Liturgy but not a Mass, so all was set. An immigrant from NazI Germany and a Catholic, she did not attend Mass, but did come to my Episcopal parish with a neighbor. We were quite close and she confided many things to me. She died alone, and I took that up with God in prayer. Where was he when she was so alone that day. Then, remembering what she had told me about the concentration camps and Jewish holocost, I asked him where he was when all of that was going on. I didn't expect an answer of course - my question being rhetorical, but immediately a movie played in my head and I saw the inside of a big gas chamber, Jews cowering as the poison fumes came out of the vents. All were near the floor and undressed except one - Jesus - who stood in their midst, a star of David sewn on his garment. Compassionate humble love was there, suffering and participating in their pain. Mrs. S, my friend, was not alone either. Remembering all of this, I quoted the gallows story above. God's defining core is humble, compassionate love. That is who he is - at every moment and in all of his dealings with us - ALL of us. Why can't we get that?

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