With all of our imperfections, we begin and end each day at the foot of the cross. It is here where our story begins and we pray it is where it will end. "Jesus said: Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light." ~Matthew 11:28-30~
Listen to God's voice at the foot of the crucifix." ~St. Gaspar del Bufaro~
Sunday, December 1, 2013
Prepare Him Room, Not Rejection
Advent is here again…Another chance to prepare!
On the outside, most Christians prepare their homes for Christmas (the birth of Christ), while being keenly aware that we are also preparing for His promise to come again.
On the inside, we are preparing our hearts, often the most difficult thing to do on an ongoing basis, let alone this time of year.
This Thanksgiving, our whole family had the honor of serving the needy in our community. Each year, this event serves over 1,000 homeless, elderly shut-ins and less fortunate citizens. I can't express in words, the heart warming experience this was.
A few of our American Heritage Girls served the event and were honored to do so!
As I helped an elderly lady to a table, who was feeling lonely with no family, my heart connected with her rejection. I felt her pain and it humbled me to the deepest caverns of my soul.
We have all felt rejection at one time in our lives, haven't we?
If you think about it, we see it all around us every day…
How easy is it to reject someone even via social media? (Facebook, blogging, etc)
It hurts to be rejected, not only by those we love and care about, but from those we thought to be friends and acquaintances around us. I think rejection is one of the most painful things to experience on an emotional level…
Maybe we get ignored,
Maybe we try to be friends with someone, only to be shut down.
Maybe someone doesn't accept our apology;
Maybe we aren't liked;
Maybe someone else gets chosen instead of us;
Maybe we aren't the favorite;
Maybe we are judged. Maybe we are the rejectors on the other end of some of these...
Maybe we cause our own rejection, and
Maybe we are rejected for no apparent reason at all.
I've been reflecting on this rejection as we move into Advent. I think rejecting and rejection takes up a lot of room in the dark corners of our souls.
I'm reminded of Mary's rejection as she was shunned by her neighbors and friends when she was discovered to be pregnant out of wedlock. Even though she was known for her pious, kind, and gentle nature, it all went down the tubes when she was discovered to be with child...Son of God or not, she was rejected.
How can we begin to overcome the small rejections, let alone the big ones? Mary bore hers so patiently…If only I had an ounce of her courage!
I know for sure, the answers lie in the past…From the manger to a selfless Cross;
They certainly lie in the present…Through the sacrifice on the Altar;
But they also lie in the skin…Through Us, created in His image and likeness, to love one another as He loved us. The answers lie in the questions we ask ourselves…
How can I open my heart, this Advent?
How can I open my eyes to search for someone who might need a smile?
How can I open my hands with a cup for a thirsty soul?
How can I open my ears to hear someone crying for help?
How can I prepare Him Room, Not Rejection?
A novice master once responded when asked about a life lived in Christian authenticity, that "to be a Christian was not to know the answers but to begin to live in the part of the self where the question is born…"
Whew, that's a good thing with all the questions I have going on in my head!
Ultimately, we learn that when we set ourselves aside, like Mary did, God's light takes over. Please, dear Mother, help me move over, this Advent and beyond!