This is not the blog post I had ready for today.
But today, I had to do something I really didn’t want to do. And because of that I got to see God’s hand. Here is what happened:
My suffering had been highlighted today, so I decided to drive to a parish that was near where I was. They don’t have perpetual adoration but I figured I could just sit in the church and pray for a few minutes. However when I get there the Blessed Sacrament was exposed! That was my first moment of God’s blessing.
Then as I went to walk into the sanctuary, I grabbed the big glass door and a reflection caught my eye. It was the picture on the wall behind me. It was the picture.
I had seen this picture at St. Raphael’s bookstore (http://www.saintraphaelcenter.com/bookstore.html) . . .a painting of Jesus’ face. It looks like it came from the movie, Jesus of Nazareth. And I have always planned to buy it for my living room someday Jesus looks so tender, so compassionate.
So I stood in front of the picture and I remembered when I was on a retreat a few weeks ago, staring at another picture of Jesus and praying . . .Let me see myself through your eyes. Let me see this through your eyes. I said that prayer again looking into the eyes of Jesus.
I went into Adoration. I sat in the back of the church and quietly cried for a while. Then I rifled through the information in front of me and there was the prayer to St. Michael. I prayed that and felt a little stronger.
I wrote this in my notebook to remind myself that on this day of suffering for me, God did not let me feel alone:
God indeed is my savior; I am confident and unafraid. My strength and my courage is the LORD, and he has been my savior. (Isaiah 12:2)
I fell to my knees–as you do when you are leaving the Blessed Sacrament. Bent to the ground, crying, I had a vision of myself standing up, rising up. God was saying, “OK. When you stand up, stand up tall.” I said, “OK.”
I stood up. Straight. Tall.
As I left the church, I prayed the same prayer in front of Jesus’ face again. I walked out and said again, “OK.” Over and over again. It was a moment of telling God I was going to accept whatever would happen now.
These were very small things, maybe too small for anyone else to even appreciate. But it was enough. It was enough to get me through this hard day.
So why am I sharing this you? What does it have to do with my theme of how suffering makes us saints? Well, its because God is always around us, with us whispering to us that He is there. Do we remember to pay attention when we are not suffering?
Also its a reminder that God wants to comfort us in our suffering. Comforting us does not mean removing the pain, but just reminding us that He is there, that He is in control.
When we don’t suffer, we don’t get a chance to see His comfort which is such a powerful reminder of His love. Seeing God’s hand move increases our Faith!
So today is a day to stand up tall.