To The Editor:
I recall a moment in time when I was grieving the loss of my first born son who died at birth. I thought of the prophet Simeon who told our Blessed Mama Mary that her son Jesus was destined to be rejected and that a sword would pierce her own soul too (Lk. 2:35). I could understand the pain she felt. I felt a void in my heart when I suffered the loss of a close friend and spiritual companion. The void grew deeper as I continued to suffer the loss of extended family members, close friends and spiritual companions, my nephew and father. In my journey through the darkness of faith, I needed to listen to Gods voice calling out to me in the desert of pain and sorrow, Come to me with an open heart and an open spirit. Its time to let go of the burden of sorrow and pain I carry in my broken heart and give it all to God.
My husband planted corn in one of our fields. Unfortunately, the rain and the ravens wiped out half our crop. The loss left my husband and I with a deep feeling of pain and confusion that robbed us of our peace. I opened up the book, Word Among Us, to a page that urged me to keep my focus on Jesus. I prayed, Lord, I feel like an empty vessel with nothing left to give. The light in me seems to be flickering barely staying lit. I have hit rock bottom. The dryness of the desert is affecting my drive to keep going forward. The pain of loss and separation lingers in the depths of my heart. I feel so broken. At times I find it hard to put one foot in front of the other.
I envisioned the woman at the well, (John 4:4-26). I saw myself as the woman standing there talking to Jesus. It became clear to me that I needed to go to the Well - a place in the depths of my heart where I could be with the Lord in prayer. It is there where the Lord will caress me, embrace my pain with His life-giving presence and fill the emptiness of my heart with his warmth and love. Psalm 34:18-20 assures me that Yahweh is near the broken-hearted, he helps those whose spirit is crushed. Hardships in plenty beset the virtuous man, but Yahweh rescues him from them all; taking care of every bone, Yahweh will not let one be broken.
I envisioned Jesus calling Lazarus out of the tomb (John 11:1-44). I can see myself being called by Jesus to come out of the tunnel darkness so he can set me free from the bondage of pain and sorrow. Our Lord longs to bess me with the graces that I need to live the fullness of life more abundantly.
I received an email from my sister-in-law entitled From God. I dont know the name of the person who wrote this but Im sure that our Lord wanted to send me a message. The words that spoke to my heart were:
I am here to take all your burdens and carry them for you. If something needs to be done, put it on my to-do list. Let Me be the one to take care of the problem. I cant help you until you turn it over to me. I can take care of anything you put into my hands. Trust me. Have the faith that I will take care of all your needs, your problems and your trials. I want to help you. All you have to do is ask. I will renew your strength and cover you in my peace. Forget what was making you crazy. Forget the worry and the fretting. I am in control. Talk to me often. I love you. I want to hear your voice. Prayer is simply you having a conversation with me. Have faith in me that I know what I am doing. I will continue to care for you, watch over you, and meet your needs. You only have to trust me.
I would rather walk with God in the dark than go alone in the light.
Mary Gardiner Brainard, poet