Thursday, June 10, 2010

Refuge in the Heart of God

If the heart’s deepest desire is found and lived through one’s passion, I cannot think of any more meaningful way to live. The desire for an intimate, lasting and loving relationship burns in the heart of every person born into this world. Needless to say, happiness is born from such a life. But it is not the kind of happiness that is easily lost through a rainy day, a broken relationship or painful disappointment. It is the kind of happiness that matures one through both joy and sorrow. It is the kind of happiness you know you have, even when you are crying. It is the kind of happiness that gives you a deep sense of home in this life, even if you must move from place to place against your will.
I once read that the word “blessed” as found in the Beatitudes carries the meaning of being in the right place. To be blessed by God is to be at home in him. It is to know the kind of happiness that flows from finding the right place in and through God.
It is the kind of happiness that learns from the inevitable wounds carried in a heart that knows suffering. To be blessed is take to heart the joys and pains of this life because you experience them as a necessary part of that place you belong in life.
There is a woman in New York who lost her only son. He was her life. She lost him when he was stabbed to death on a street in the city. His killer was never found. Her son was a living part of her heart and he is still there. When she sleeps at night, she wears the clothes he wore and holds the fabric as close to her as she can. There are nights that she will sleep in his bed in the hope that she will dream of him, that he will come to her the only way he can.
I do not know if the woman prays, if she has turned to the heart of Jesus for comfort, for a warm place of understanding, for perhaps an answer to why her son died. But if she has thought of holding a lasting love and then losing it, having it bleed to death on a street, her thoughts cannot be far from God. It may be a different name, one we are not familiar with, or a different way of prayer – a way that uses different words and different ways of communicating – like sobs, tears, holding close a shirt that still has a familiar and heartbreaking scent.
A long tradition of piety would encourage her to seek refuge in the Sacred Heart of Jesus, to turn to Jesus with her sorrows.
But Jesus has already come. He holds her at night, and perhaps comes to her in her dreams. He knows her suffering because he is a living part of it. It is through Jesus that we are all held close by a God who suffers with us, cries with us, and promises something that we know within us – that anguish and pain shall not be the last, the final and definitive words of life. The heart of Jesus draws us in, and it is where we are at home. It is in that heart that we may toss and turn on a sleepless night and reach out to touch someone who no longer seems near.
It is early morning. It is said that time heals all wounds, or, perhaps helps us better live with them. A woman in Manhattan may be rising from her own bed. She has lovingly placed her son’s clothes in a place for safekeeping. She has let him go to his new life.
All things come from God, without exception. Jesus knew pain, knew loss. He knew the taste of tears, his own tears. He shared in the undivided heart of God and sorrow was a necessary part of that.
The heart will of Jesus lives forever. We live from and in that heart, for our very life is of God. There is a saying, too, that the flow of tears can heal. A woman cried herself to sleep in the bed and clothing of her dead son. Someday, she will see him again in a place where every tear will be wiped away. May she then know the healing grace of her own tears and how her broken heart was given her because she loved so much. She will look back, with her arms around her son, and know that God wept with her, too, until it was time to weep no more. For a time came, called eternity, a time to live in the love she thought she had lost. .

No comments: