Wednesday, September 6, 2017

GOD IS IN THE ARTWORK OF OUR LIVES


In my last post I wrote I was traveling through a dark valley with Jesus by my side. I’m writing now to report that I’m climbing my way out via a staircase made of counseling, psychology books, the Gospels, friendships, service, worship, prayer, meditation, beach meanderings, baking, photography, and stepping stone design. But, not so much with the blogging.

I see now that it wasn’t just because my journey had reached a level of “too personal” to blog about, but that the Lord was slowly guiding me through a transition. Things have picked up dramatically epiphany-wise!

One day last week, powerful ocean waves called me to the beach. Before I set out for my usual pier-to-pier walk, I asked God, what should I do, pray the Rosary? He said, Listen.

So, I listened to the boisterous waves, blustery wind, and silent belittling of hunkered down seabirds smarter than me. No signs or messages appeared.

What appeared instead was rain. And within that storm, I felt an invitation to a safe place in which I could open up to Him. Soon my tears mixed in with the raindrops, my glasses fogged up, and sand-speckled wind pelted my face. This blindness allowed me to focus inward on a deep level and see the thing that was bothering me the most. The thing I had to get straight with God about.

I was devastated by my belief that my issues and I had utterly, irrevocably, and absolutely blown it with a friend. The Lord let me cry it all out. It’s possible that He metaphysically patted my back and said, It’s gonna be all right. But, I might have imagined that part.

And then, I went home, took a hot shower, drank tea, and got back to reading the Gospels. I began thinking about how I would blog about the Saints of the Gospels, and it occurred to me that many of these Saints were Jesus’s friends. And you know what? I’m Jesus’s friend, too. He told me so this past spring on May 10.

This means that I can write about Him now. Directly. No longer only through the perspective of Saints through whom we focus our gaze on the Divine.

I’m intrigued by this assignment. But mostly, I’m marveling that I no longer feel afraid to write directly about Jesus, historical or otherwise. I no longer feel unsuitable, uncredentialed, or unworthy of this task. It's a miracle!

Speaking of miracles, long about 5 o’clock on that same day, while I was still immersed in the Gospel of Mark, Jesus whispered, Check your phone.

Okay. What do you want me to know?

And there it was in my inbox, sent three minutes earlier – the “all’s well” email from my friend that I had never expected but had, apparently, been waiting desperately for.

That Lord and His mysterious ways, man. He’s just so stinking good to me.

…………..

Speaking of friends, two of them taught me an invaluable lesson this past weekend. On Friday, I had an intermittent, but pretty much all-day amazing FB PM conversation with a friend in which we discussed everything we could think of. Then on Sunday, I had a three-and-a-half-hour deep conversation with a friend in a coffee shop that ended only when my blood sugar levels plummeted from lack of food and I almost passed out.

When I thanked these friends for spending their time with me, both said in their own way, What the hell are you thanking me for? That was fun!

And finally, miraculously, at almost 51-years-old, I believed them.

…………….

So, what’s with the stepping stones?

Well, see this one?


I started to place my beach meandering treasures in an intuitive random pattern. But, it quickly became "The Crucifixion." I added people and angels, and filled the empty space with purple for His Divinity and white for His Holy Light. Too late, I realized I had added so much to the scene no one could decipher what was going on in the center. 

There’s a powerful message in that experience. Sometimes, when we're suffering through our own “crucifixion,” while we might have a few people standing close by like Jesus had Blessed Mother Mary, St. John, and St. Mary Magdalene; most people, for their own reasons, step a little way back, like St. Peter and the others did.

It hurts, but on some level, you gotta know they are giving you space to get through your thing. You gotta have faith that they are waiting for you on the other side. You gotta believe your friends removed themselves temporarily from your scene so you can focus in on the center of your own story.

Because the center of your own story is where the healing happens.