by Wayne Bridegroom
Jesus is never in the shame game. He will, however, quietly meet with us and say something to the effect of, “I love you so much. Would you allow me to bring healing into (this particular area) of your life? Let’s partner. I’ll show you the way.”
The rain finally stopped this morning in central California so I went on my typical tri-purpose walk: 1) walk in alertness so I can notice things I’ve not seen, heard or sensed in the past; 2) allow the Holy Spirit to bring to my memory some event or person in my past so I can practice thankfulness; 3) have a quiet conversation with God that is moving to less talking by me and more listening. My life has been way too busy hence the importance of number one. Number two is healing because I’ve been a “glass half empty” person for so long. And number three is needful because I’m used to preaching & talking but I need to practice listening.
I had no more reached the sidewalk this morning when I was reminded to be thankful for St Stanislaus Catholic Church. My dad died in 2008 and my mom in 2016. Even prior to that the tension between my siblings had been virtually unbearable. I needed time to vent on the one hand and time to simply be still before the Lord on the other.
With so many congregations using our facility I had to look elsewhere for a place to do that. One of the ladies in my church told me of a convent at St Stanislaus. I was actually friends with one of the priests there but had no idea that there was a facility for several nuns who spent 24 hours every day in a prayer rotation. Their chapel is open to anyone who wishes to come and just enjoy the presence of the Lord. I found that so rejuvenating. But before the quiet time in the chapel, more often than not, I would walk around the outside of their large sanctuary and tell God how mad I was about my familial situation. For better or worse, I was finally exploring my emotions rather than burying them.
That time at St Stanislaus probably went on for three years. It did not “hit” me until today that my experience there was something for which I should be grateful. Wonderfully, though, I didn’t kick myself or shame myself this morning for being such a slow learner. I rejoiced that the Spirit reminded me of all those wonderful times with God at the Catholic church that I so desperately needed. It was, quite literally, an exhilarating encounter on the sidewalk this morning. Whether the sibling relationship can be healed remains to be seen but that’s a different story.
Thanks again to Wayne Bridegroom, John Shirk and Cynthia Cody-Vera for stepping in for the Catch. John will be returning tomorrow.
Thanks for such a great message of Church, and special moments. Jesus can do so much healing and just reading about your experiences and your faith gives me so much hope always. Take care, God Bless, and have a great weekend. Give my best to John and Marti.