Monday, March 5, 2012
At the Cross
I have been contemplating the suggestion "Leaving it all at the foot of the Cross" I hear it time and time again and I also read it in awesome books from awesome people. I struggle with it not because of God's limitations but because of my own. Seriously, how does one sit in the presence of the Crucified Christ and then just "leave it all at the foot of the Cross"? I get the meaning behind the suggestion - that Christ died for our sins and that when you leave your pain, suffering, sadness, etc. at the foot then it is redeemed or eliminated (cannot think of any good descriptive words tonight, ugh)
Here, again, is where I falter. I have 2 bulging discs in my back and I have been so depressed and very pained by it. I soooo try to offer up my pain because I am able to live (albeit with much discomfort) with it and know that there are so many that are afflicted with much more serious issues - physically and/or emotionally. So, I do ask Our Father to use my pain for someone else. I do remember my friends and my family in my prayers and ask that any suffering that I endure be offered up for their happiness and well-being. Don't get me wrong, I am the WORST kind of martyr. I am certain that God will never put me in a situation where I must suffer silently. I called or emailed every single person I know that has experienced back pain just to commiserate. Martyr? No! But, I try - I truly try to get something from all of this. I am, however, unable to stare and contemplate the Cross and then "leave my pain" there.
The other day I was at St. Paul Shrine in downtown Cleveland (just one of many beautiful churches in the Cleveland area) and they have several wonderful statues around the perimeter of the church. I knelt down before the Pieta and looked in to Our Lady's eyes and I could not bring myself to ask for prayers for my back. I realize that I am missing the point of the Crucifixion in my not being able to do this. I know that the Crucifixion was for me and for all of my sins and that Jesus' intense love for me includes His WANTING to take my cross for me. However, I want to take His Cross for Him. I want to soothe Our Lady's pain as She held Her Son. I want to be the one that is there at the foot of the Cross giving Him comfort as so many abandoned Him. I simply just do not know how to "leave it at the foot of the Cross"
Am I depriving myself of a certain amount of blessings because of this? Is there another way of asking for healing without feeling as though I am ungrateful for asking for it? Perhaps it just stems back to the age-old issue that I struggle with constantly: I do not feel worthy of it! I do not feel as though it is right for me to ask such a huge blessing. And, maybe most of all, I am fearful that if I ask for a healing and I do not receive one that it will feed that sinful thought of me not being worthy.
I was talking with my husband about this a few weeks ago that I truly just don't know how to offer things up nor do I know how to do this whole "leaving it at the Cross" thing. I mentioned that I just don't understand the purpose of it all - the suffering, the frustration, the loneliness. And Bill reminded me of all of the things that I have endured the past 20 years or so and how it all builds on itself. He reminded me that I was blessed to be the birth mother of a baby 20 1/2 years ago that was to be born on my birthday but wasn't. Only to give birth 7 years later to a son that was born on my birthday. It was as if the pain and loneliness from that huge event in 1990 was rewarded with an equally huge event almost exactly 7 years later. God doesn't forget - He uses all of our experiences as part of a Divine plan. We often spend many of our days wishing that we could just get a glimpse into why things happen the way that they do or what will happen in the future as a result. My goodness, the wait is always worth it.
In a few days it will be 5 years that my husband died. At the time, I just could not figure out why this could have happened. I couldn't understand why this was something that MY children had to endure. In 5 years, I don't necessarily understand all the whys and why nots of Bill's death (Bill 1 - as Keagan sometimes calls him) But, I see that I am a better wife now because of the experience of loving and losing a husband in 2007. I see now that because of the suffering we all experienced, we are able to really appreciate the love and peace that we have now with this new man in our lives (Bill 2!!) So many things to be thankful for all because I was able to embrace the cross that God gave me. The cross given to me not because I am not worthy but because I AM worthy...we all are!