In these or similar words ...

Dear Lord,
I am moved by so much in this week’s retreat. I see the stunning face of the little girl, standing next to a huge bed in that hospital. It’s a poor place, I can see that by the cracks on the wall. But what can I do with the little girl? I can’t bring her home with me.

But as I continue to look at the photo, there is an invitation I feel from you. I feel so moved when I read the imaginary conversation at the beginning of the guide for the week. What if my own loved one came home from an experience like that and asked me the same thing? Would I go? Of course. It would mean so much to us and to the way we would experience our love together, in that strange and wonder filled place.

Is that what you are asking? You want me to consider an invitation from you to go someplace I’ve never been? Maybe it’s someplace new but, at the same time, someplace right here at home. It’s different. I’m different. But you, my loving God, would be with me in it? If I got frightened, you would be there? I feel your promise not only that you will be with me but also that the love between us will grow. What a dizzying thought!

In the past weeks, I have been amazed at the depth of love I feel growing between us, Jesus. I feel your presence in my prayers, and I sometimes get selfconscious, wondering whether I’m a little crazy for imagining a deep feeling coming from you. But in the quiet of my prayer, I know it’s real. There is a very real love that is deepening between us. It makes me feel some deeper longing for you.

Let me sit quietly with this invitation, Jesus. I feel your calling me to something, but I’m not sure what. I feel an emptiness inside that I know you can fill, a yearning for some way to draw closer to you.

Be with me, Lord, as I pray with the photo of the little girl. Stay with me as I contemplate the invitation you hold out to me. Be with me. Fill me. Let me feel your love. Thank you for this call you are sending me. Give me the patience to stay with it this week, to pray with it, and to be patient with it.
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