|Solemnity of the Sacred Heart
Psalms 23:1-3, 3-4, 5, 6
"I will rescue them from every place where they were scattered when it was cloudy and dark."
God seems to desire me intensely when I feel lost, most distant from Him.
When I am hurt and alone, blaming the world and other people for whatever pains me, God presses close. I feel Him.
When I am driven by my appetites and temptation, God hovers close. I feel Him.
When I am feeling betrayed, backstabbed and in a rage, God gently embraces me. I feel Him.
I do not pretend to understand the relationship between pain and God. But these moments demonstrate to me that the relationship is there.
I was 11 or 12 years old. My mom took me by the shoulders and looked into my eyes.
"Stephen," she said. "God is waiting for you." I do not recall why she said this. All I recall is that she said it. I've never forgotten the moment, even though I think she was wrong. I don't think God waits for me. I think He chases me. And in times when my life is cloudy and dark, He catches me.
In the terrible summer and fall of 1982, when my wife and father died, He caught me and held me tight. I felt Him. Through bitter days and long nights of grief, there would come moments when I felt deeply and intensely loved. The moments puzzled me back then and I didn't give them much thought. Today I know God was touching me, rescuing me, taking me to a good pasture.
Often I have thought that God is in my life because I seek Him. Today I think that is wrong. Today I think that no matter what I say or do, God will haunt and hunt me down. He's on my trail now. He will chase me without rest until I am caught up in His love and carried home.
This is a good thing to know, especially when it is cloudy and dark
and I want to be afraid.
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