Have you ever read something that left you feeling as if it had been written
JUST FOR YOU?
I’ve been having several of those moments within these past weeks & months. The material has come from multiple sources and has applied to various circumstances; but none the less, I have marveled as my Heavenly Father has led me to each one.
It’s as if He’s handing me important pieces to the jig-saw puzzle of my life.
I’m still trying to figure out how to put all these pieces together, but I know in His time there will be a glorious ‘finished work of art’ revealed!
For example, one particular circumstance
involves a personal hurdle I’ve been working hard to jump over.
Although, truth be known, hurdlers do not “jump” over hurdles.
They do not glide over hurdles.
Hurdler’s “hurdle” over hurdles.
And actually none of the hurdling matters at the current moment because with your patient permission I do not plan to write about this particular ambitious hurdle in today’s post because I’m not emotionally or spiritually agile enough yet, to hurdle myself over!
Instead, I would like to focus on a post I wrote several days ago titled agony. In this post I expressed the agony Jesus has (no doubt) been experiencing over the tragic scandal within the Roman Catholic Church.
It is important for me to share I am not planning to leave the Church.
The thought has never entered my mind.
But I do understand if, in light of what has been revealed, you are currently struggling over this very heart-wrenching discernment.
And I have been earnestly praying for you. Every ‘uncertain’ one of you.
Bishop Robert Barron sums up in a recently made video, far better than I, a beautiful attitude most Catholics may appreciate hearing regarding these types of discernments – when darkness has been flushed out by the light. I know I did and I highly recommend taking the time to view his input by clicking on the video link above, if you too are agonizing over what has recently been unveiled.
After writing my post agony I spent seven days going to prayer before the Holy Eucharist in my own personal discernment asking God the following: “How are You calling me to actively respond? How do You need me, as You needs all of us, to assist in healing the brokenness which currently exists? Show me how to wipe the tears from Your eyes, Lord.”
Our Lord’s loving response came through helping me fit a few pieces of my puzzle together….
Puzzle pieces #101-112: Many weeks ago our Pastor, Fr. Larry Richards, recommended a wonderful book to our parish community. EVERYBODY, ALWAYS: Becoming Love in a World full of Setbacks and Difficult People, by author Bob Goff.
I gobbled up this book!
I first downloaded it to my audible account; but within 3 chapters of listening I knew I needed a hard copy as well, so that I could underline all the material which was screaming out to my heart!
I have listened to this book (in its entirety) over six times (currently) and have read thru at least four.
When I began praying for God’s word to be revealed to me He took me back to Bob’s book. It was there that He asked of me just one thing: “To be there for the bounce.”
Bob Goff writes in chapter 6 of EVERYBODY, ALWAYS about learning to skydive with his son, Adam. With great wit and bravado Bob explains all the many details which went into the preparation for his first jump. Near the end of the Chapter Bob writes…
“There’s one last thing the instructor told us in class. He said if the main parachute doesn’t open up, and the reserve parachute doesn’t either, you’ve got about forty-five seconds before you hit the ground and make your mark. I was surprised and a little grossed out when the instructor said hitting the ground isn’t what kills you. Every bone in your body will break, of course. But after you hit the ground, you’ll bounce – and it’s the second time you hit that kills you as the broken bones puncture all your organs. I know that’s kind of graphic but it’s true.”
Bob is a lawyer, so with this information in mind he figured he needed a strategy.
“If none of the parachutes open up, when I hit the ground, I’m going to grab the grass and avoid the bounce!”
“What is true in skydiving is true in our lives. It’s actually not the initial failure that takes any of us out; it’s the bounce. We’ve all hit the ground hard at work or in a relationship or with a big ambition. Whether we had a big, public failure or an even bigger private one, the initial failure won’t crush our spirit or kill our faith; it’s the second hit that does. The second hit is what follows when things go massively wrong or we fail big, and the people we thought would rush to us create distance instead. They express disapproval or treat us with polite indifference.”
When I heard this Chapter the very first time I wept. And God reminded me that I wept because of my own personal experience of feeling abandoned, when instead I needed others who would rush to catch me as I bounced.
Our son’s divorce was a time such as this and was indeed a brutal reminder of how others can create distance, express disapproval or treat us with polite indifference when we actually need them the most. Several mutual acquaintances; only hearing one side of the sad story, pierced our hearts with their behaviors during this tragic time in our family’s lives. Even some of our Catholic brothers & sisters were carelessly judgmental without knowing the heart-breaking facts behind his wife’s petition for divorce.
It took longer to heal from this tragedy in our family as a result, but by the grace of God He did send us the appropriate people, tools, and puzzle pieces to lend aide to our brokenness…in His own time.
As Christians we all know, because John tells us so in 1 John 2:6, that “he who says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.” And Bob Goff reminds us in his book of exactly what Jesus is doing in turbulent times such as these….
“If we want to be like Jesus, here’s our simple and courageous job:
Catch people on the bounce!”
Jesus is there ready to catch them and He wants us to participate too!!
As I have mentioned,
Jesus weeps for the victims,
He weeps for the holy and chaste priests, bishops and religious betrayed by their brethren,
He weeps for the devoted men and women of the faith,
He weeps for His Church
and He even weeps for the ones who have brought such shame to our faith.
And we are all weeping with Him in our own way.
But Our Lord is also, as an example to each of us,
“running to them with arms wide open to hug them even harder.” Bob Goff
I know He is calling me to be there too.
He is calling me to remember what abandonment feels like.
He desires my help to catch them as they bounce.
Even if it can be in prayer only,
Jesus is calling me to open my heart
and run to each one,
arms wide open, with a
hug and a blessing.
hugs n’ blessings to you if you chose to run with me too!