I will

 

 

Dear Father

Just like when I buy a different car – I then see the same make everywhere when I never did before, so the same when I name myself compartmentalised or stigmatised – I then see compartments and stigma where I never before.

I will see only with love – I will speak only with love – I will hear only with love – I will feel only with love – so that I may then see me only with the love that you see me – and that I may then see others only with the love that you see me.

(and when others do compartmentalise me – I will see their compartment only with affection and love as you do)

Love you
((hugs))

.

 

Come eat at my table

“A voice was heard in Ramah, sobbing and loud lamentation;

Rachel weeping for her children,

and she would not be consoled, since they were no more.”

We talk a lot about human life in terms of abortion. We talk about why God values the lives of the unborn. There are protests and signs and lots of press coverage. We talk about the sacredness of all life. But in this rhetoric, we leave out a lot of life, entire segments of the population.

We leave out the homeless and the hurting, those in prison, the alcoholic, the mother afflicted with a mental health condition. What about the abused child or the dirty child or the child that beat up your child? What about the lonely girl, the tired girl, the gay child? What about the screaming bigots and racists? What about the family member who you don’t talk to because you said it was o.k.? Do you pick and choose whose life gets the title of sacred? Are you God?

The sacredness of life. It is all life. It is the people we don’t like, or turn away from or make excuses about. It is the life we read about in the paper but do nothing about. It is the tears we don’t shed after our morning coffee. It is the person we see next to us in church, in tears, who we don’t turn to. Are you a part-time Christian, a Sunday attender, a picker and a chooser? Do you play with bible verses because you’re more versed than that? Are you doing “ministry,” but neglecting your family? Are you concentrating on the masses and droves of people that could be “saved” rather than the one right next to you? Are the small things just to small for you? Big screens and fancy suited preacher, ornate church, your weekend ministry, pamphlets, no eye to eye contact, no hug or hand shake, no connection, no nothing.

If you aren’t connected, if you don’t see the truth that ALL life is sacred, you have missed the point. You have missed the love. You have missed the hope that is Jesus Christ. You shouldn’t have joined the religion of outcasts.

In your highways and byways, and everyday life, you have completely missed the mark. You are preaching your own gospel, I see it everyday.

“Let us declare that God is dead, then we ourselves will be God.”

JESUS of NAZARETH, Pope Benedict XVI

I can’t help but think of so many more than the unborn. That God’s love and reach extends so much farther than that. That the Genesis telling of being created in His image becomes so cliché when I see it on products for $9.99 plus tax. That being “saved” doesn’t mean God threw you a life -line because He loves you any more than He does the person you can’t forgive. That I am not “saved,” I am free; I am free because He released me from the captivity of my own sin… I couldn’t save myself from myself.

The next time you think about the sacredness of life, think about the people you love the most- your wife or mother, your daughter, your very closest friend. All human life has such value, because at one time the people you hate were one of these, or maybe they still are one of these. If someone has breath in them, they are precious to God. Imagine the person you hate, imagine their breath, that is the God we worship that lives inside them.

To anyone who is reading this that has ever been hurt by someone who claims Christianity, let me say I am sorry. You are so very precious and beautiful, and the God of the universe loves you as He made you. I extend my hand out to you in love and peace, honoring your life for who you are. May God bless you in ways you never fathomed, and may you always feel welcome at my table.

Come over and eat anytime with me at There’s Something About Mary

-Mary

 

A Change in Perspective

“What if there was no light

Nothing wrong, nothing right”

Coldplay

This morning I woke up thinking about the crucifixion. Not about the blood or the torment or the suffering of Jesus, but of His mother. I read a devotion which prompted me to think about her anguish at the cross. Our minds tend to focus on the obvious, unless we go deeper into ourselves, unfamiliar territory within us, uncomfortable places where we are unwilling to go.

There is much debate about the crucifixion of Jesus, even more about whether those of us who are believers look up at a pulpit or altar or center area and see a crucifix or an empty cross. As a Catholic, I stare at the crucifix every Sunday, debate it, contemplate it, try and some way get my head around it. 

But as for the many hours I have sat there with tears or joy or whatever I am feeling, staring up at the crucified body of Jesus has never had me think of Mary, until today. Until my mind was stirred with images of her at the foot of the cross, her son hanging there. I imagine she did not understand what was happening. I am sure she was confused and unsure. I am pretty positive she felt completely alone. But whether we contemplate the physicality of the corpus or the empty cross, we cannot gently skip over Mary at the cross.

I imagine her looking up and saying, “Why God why? Why me? Why now? Maybe she pleaded with God. I know she felt tortured and was in  pain and yearning to understand God’s plan. In the universality of it all, Mary at the cross becomes us, take us over and sets the stage for us at the foot of the cross, pleading with God to end the pain, and the suffering and the torture of the moment. We are there with her, pleading with God, begging God, unable to break through to the other side.

Sometimes it is through imagery that we are drawn into the supernatural. When God can place us in the book, not outside the book. When we can enter His words rather than just read them. When we take them with us down to the ground on our knees rather than zip them up. Sometimes we just need to be there, like Mary, in those moments, succumbing when we don’t understand, but nevertheless being there and not letting go of Him until we make it to the other side.

Sometimes words on a page are not enough for me, as I am sure they weren’t enough for her. I could look up and feel her. It was as if God had me down on the ground, in the dirt, looking up from her perspective. I wanted to kneel next to her and tell her it was going to be o.k. But in that moment, I knew just to kneel, to feel, to look up from her perspective, not my own. He was not my son…

When I left for mass this morning, I could not get that image out of my head. When I kneeled for silent prayer, I couldn’t look at the crucifix the same. I imagined I was her, looking up at Him. I imagined how that would feel. It gave me a new and completely different perspective, one I could not have imagined or seen before. And then I thought of all the people hurting like Mary was hurting, looking at God. Maybe instead of shoving words in their face that are bound to fall on deaf ears it was time to just kneel with them, to see the cross from their perspective instead of my own. It was what God wanted. Let go of myself, the world is hurting.

One slight change in perspective can change things for us. When we are seeking so outside of our own selves, when we will stop at nothing to find him.

“And he said to this disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from then on this disciple took her into his home.”

You can read more from Mary at There’s Something about Mary