Three weeks prior to the end of 2014 (good riddance, you crazy year, I am so glad you are well into my rear view mirror) I had no clue I would be spending the first weekend of January in southeast Pennsylvania, just outside of Philly, but. God is a God of surprises. A friend asked if I'd like to join him
As the first night of the retreat kicked off, all the retreatants entered into praise and worship. We were also given the opportunity to go to Confession. I wanted to be emptied of my worldliness and sin in preparation to fully receive all the Lord had in store for me as we began the retreat so I took the chance to receive the sacrament of confession.
Empty self of sin = New life
I calmed my mind and tried picturing an image of Jesus that I own and cherish, but I struggled to see that particular image of him. Instead, the sweet baby Jesus in the
Instantly I was overcome with emotion. I couldn't hold back, I just laid there and wept. What was going on with me? Why did this cause me to weep like this? This tiny gesture of love from such a tiny being moved me so deeply. I couldn't help but sob as my tears puddled on the floor beneath me.
Three thoughts immediately raced through my mind as I tried to process
- Is this the hand of a child following the prompting of God to embrace my hand because his/her heart is reading what I need in this moment, even though I am unaware of what I need in this moment?
- Is this something I am experiencing supernaturally, but no one else is seeing with their eyes? Is this hand actually the hand of Jesus right here in this moment?
- Was God using this tiny hand of a child (who still remained faceless to me) to allow me the opportunity to feel what it will be like to hold the hand of my own children someday? It was as if the moment transcended time and moved me forward to a place in the future where it truly was the grasp of my own child's hand. Somehow I was able to feel the realness of the intimacy of being a mother.
I wept and as I did the child stayed with me - her hand ever so tenderly embracing mine. She reached out her other hand, grabbed my right hand, and with all the compassion and utmost concern in the world I heard her soft, little voice quietly say to someone nearby, "she's sad." It was as if it was her personal duty to bring me comfort. As she said those words I was even more deeply moved by her love and compassion for a total stranger. I felt Jesus through her. As I wept, she stayed with me. So many thoughts rushing through my mind as I tried to process them.
She stayed and held my hands and let God move through her in order to minister to me. I heard the little girl tell someone who must have been nearby watching (I later learned it was her dad), "I'm going to stay with her until she stops crying." This evoked more tears and the sweet girl leaned over and kissed the top of my head. I had never experienced anything like this in my life. I had never felt this kind of overwhelming compassion and love from such an unexpected source and at an unexpected time. It was wild to be receiving it from a child I didn't even know.
My friend later told me when he walked into the room and witnessed what was taking place he caught eyes with the little girl and there was something different about her in that moment. Her eyes commanded his attention and he couldn't look away. Her eyes seemed to communicate to him she was Christ in that moment as she ministered to me - not knowing what it was I needed, but simply loving me - no
This is the way God works - He uses each one of us to touch another. We are brothers and sisters in Christ and we can't be whole until we are all whole together. This is why the attitude of indifference, which is so prevalent in our culture today is so disconcerting. We are whole together or we are broken and disjointed together. We are too interconnected for it to be any other way. Christ gave me a glimpse of this as He showed me His compassion through the touch of a child and just how important I was to her
What I found was a lie of unworthiness. I had bought
Jesus is all around us. We are such broken human beings and most of the time we are way too afraid to open our hearts to fight the battle within and receive His merciful love and healing. I encourage you to tap into whatever might be holding you back. What part of your heart needs
Jesus loves you with the blind faith and tenderness of a child and He's trying to reach you in every way, but He is the ultimate gentleman. You must invite Him into your heart because He won't force Himself upon you. So what are you waiting for?