I began this Lenten journey anticipating a fruitful time of reflection, refocusing and repentance. It has been that and so much more.
This week’s readings from Bread and Wine: Readings for Lent and Easter have been especially rich with deep truths my heart needed.
The reading from Day 27 by Peter Kreeft about Jesus: “He came. He entered space and time and suffering. He came, like a lover. He did the most important thing and he gave the most important gift: himself. He sits beside us not only in our sufferings but even in our sins. He does not turn his face from us, however much we turn our face from him.”
Let that seep into your soul. Let it flow into the deepest places of hurt and fear and let it heal you. Jesus does not turn away. When my heart is broken…..when the pain feels too much for me…….when I don’t understand. He’s right beside me.
He’s there too when I’m full of pride or when I’ve judged someone and feel justified doing it. When I’ve ignored an opportunity to do someone good. Even when I’m mean or greedy. He’s there. Not turning away from me. Not pointing his finger……but reaching out his hand.
Deuteronomy 31:6 says “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Jesus says in Matthew 28:20 “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Then there was this on Day 32. Dorothee Soelle writes: “God has no other hands than ours.”
The good that needs doing in the world will be done by our hands. Our hands.
Sometimes the way others know Jesus is with them and never leaves them……is by our being with them and not leaving. By our sitting right beside them whatever they’re going through. Sickness, painful circumstances, mental illness, bad choices, or foolish mistakes.
Jesus is the Savior. He’s the healer and the heart changer. But we can be hand holders.
Isn’t that what the Gospel is? The Good News that we don’t have to do this thing alone…..that Somebody has our back and loves us right where we are.
He’s here with me, holding my hand through it all……so I can hold the hands of the tired ones, the sick and hurting ones, the ones too weary to believe and the ones weighed down with regret.
I’m learning to be a hand holder.