Sunday, June 26, 2011

Praying for Trish . II

Today is the day Trish’s baby is due, but that scheduled arrival does not run, as they say, like the on-time trains. Indeed, that arrival is awaited more like the flight arrival waited by a parent who fears flying: the fear about the whole experience does not focus on the “when” the arrival will occur, but rather will it occur at all, or will some feared tragedy occur.

I suspect, despite assurances, Trish has many fears, about the arrival, yes, but also about what happens after the arrival. When our future is proceeding not as we had planned, it is a very scary thing. This “Trust in God” is easier done when we can see around the corner, and no so easy when it seems we are moving forward, like it or not, blindfolded.

With Trish’s anxieties in mind tonight, I guess it was appropriate that I prayed and meditated on the “Sorrowful Mysteries”, as both words seem to apply to her situation.

The First Sorrowful Mystery; The Agony in the Garden: Anticipation.
Jesus sweat blood in the garden, as He contemplated what was to come, and He was God! How hard things must be for Trish. The meditation words I read tonight seem to apply to her thoughts: Can I accept God’s will? For me? Whenever life goes not as we would have planned it, it is easy to challenge it: Is this REALLY God’s will (is there a way out of my sorrows)? Our resolve to accept God’s will is challenged. Friends abandon me … I seem all alone. That is always a problem in our sorrows: we think friends have abandoned us, when it’s often the case that different friends are there, put there by God, waiting for us. In our anxieties, we think too much, and don’t recognize them when they appear. Anticipating our sorrows, it is hard to keep them in perspective: My sorrows are nothing compared to Yours.

I pray, Lord, that Trish can see her sorrows in light of Yours. Even as your Father gave You friends for Your journey, I know you will provide them for Trish. Your journey, Lord, ended in death, while hers will only entail sorrows. May she appreciate the difference, and in seeing Your cross, accept hers.

The Scourging at the Pillar: Physical Pain.
Pain is a consolation; it takes my mind from what will come. The birth of a child comes with pain, but as everyone who has raised children knows, the real pains come later. So Trish’s childbirth pains are a consolation, a good thing, if for a while she stops worrying about the future. God help me! I feel alone, and hear no answer. This too, Trish is probably thinking; at some point in our pains we all think this. But the wisest of us also think this: In my sorrow, My Jesus, I Trust in You.

Lord, be now with Trish in her pains. But please, Lord, be with her in her anxieties also. Send Your Holy Spirit, enlighten her mind, that You, that the good people You put in her life, somewhere, will always be there. Never let her feel alone.

The Crowning With Thorns: Mockery.
While the mental pain in the Garden, anticipating unknown sorrows, is difficult, I think the mockery that Jesus endured with the crowning of thorns was worse; being laughed at, being ridiculed, and being told: “Well, however high and mighty you may have thought yourself before, look at you now! You told others what was right and wrong, now let me tell you!” Oh, yes, Trish will face mockery, as Jesus did. And as with Him, it will come away from the public eye, one on one, and perhaps from “friends”. In times of sorrow, you learn who your real friends are. The quiet pains hurt more. Mockery is a very personal pain, and sometimes it’s even a pain we self-inflict.

Lord, You know what Trish is hearing, and feeling. You’ve been there. Especially in times like these, we can appreciate the great gift You gave us, oh not the miracles or the Godly examples, but the pains you willingly took on. You’ve been there, where we are now. We think so often about God elevating man, but when we are being made to feel little, it is a consolation to remember that a God CHOSE to become little. He became a true man, just like us, and was mocked and made to feel little, just like us. Help Trish to remember your mockery, Lord, and that this too shall pass. Thank you, Lord.

The Carrying of the Cross: Friends.
The heaviest weight is the loneliness, but even Jesus found that a stranger would be sent to help Him. Friends come from many, often unexpected places. I can only count on My mother. As Jesus looked around, at some point His thoughts must have turned to His mother. And now Trish has a child, and she is a mother. A mother’s love is so natural and strong that at some points it has to be restrained, so that a child can learn independence and grow in personal strength. And yet it must always be there, something a child knows it can count on, even when it becomes an adult. Perhaps Trish never felt it before, but now there is a little someone who relies on her to always be there, to be strong in action, to be strong in love. And to be there, especially when her child faces the sorrows of his life.

Lord, send friends into Trish’s life to aid her in her difficult times. But also, dear Lord, make her aware that she must be a friend like that to others, and especially to Your gift of this child.

The Crucifixion: Inevitable Tragedy.
This is my agony. This I finally accept --- I will to love. Jesus embraced His cross, accepted His tragedy. Trish may think the moments she is going through right now are a great tragedy, but there will be worse. The challenge for her will be to accept the inevitable tragedies in her life, and to go on, even as Jesus did. I trust in you, My Father, I trust in You. I pray for Trish, not just for her present challenges, but also for her future ones.

Lord, I thank you for this opportunity for me to share in some small way the trials and joys of Trish. While we are together here on earth, struggling, as part of the Body of Christ, we look forward to the day when our struggles end, and You wait to welcome us home. Give Trish, and her child, strength for the journey. In times of sorrow, in times of difficult decisions, be with them. And even as you sought to be all You were created to be, give them strength, wisdom, and courage, to be all You created them to be.

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