Jesus stuffed in the chapel, your whispered prayers that drive me crazy, and gee, is it any surprise


In a sick way, I enjoy reading about how Mary couldn't find Jesus; how he didn't tell her where he was. This story makes me think, "Ha! So he wasn't such a perfect kid after all...so she too got anxious and worried..." Of course, all I have to do is flip a few pages back in the story and read about her fiat...her yes to the absolutely unknown - but was able to do so because of her knowledge and faith and complete trust in God. Then I go, "Hmm...ok, Mary...you win..."

Because you know how Mary loves to compete with us.

It is my pathetic, human mind that gets me into trouble...the mind that wants to compare suffering, compare children's behavior, compare hardships, compare responses to painful circumstances; compare myself to the Blessed Mother. Lord, have mercy on me.

On this feast day of the Sacred Heart of Mary...as I gaze upon the picture of her that my husband has literally glued to our wall directly above the spot where I sleep...the image of her with her heart adorned with roses...and the sword...pierced through the center...I am able, if even for a moment, to drop the comparisons, to drop my unmet expectations, to drop my fears and my worry and my own anxiety as I, too, am so often searching for Jesus....asking him, "How can you do this to me? Can't you see how worried I am?"....and instead of my own voice, my own mumbling, my own ranting and run on sentences...I can finally hear.....

"Why are you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?" (Luke 2:49)

Why am I looking for him?

Because I have allowed my anxiety to take over.

I have let despair set in.

I have taken my eyes off of Him and placed them on the enormous mountain before me.

Last week, in a moment of deep despair, in a moment when I could not find Jesus, I set out to look for Him. And I ran to Adoration. Upon my arrival at church, I was instantly irritated by the sign on the door that said the Blessed Sacrament was in the chapel. This is embarrassing to admit...but I really hate when they put Jesus in there. It is the cry room. It is cramped and small. And I have a thing about people whispering their prayers too close to me...it is like nails on a chalk board. I become my most unholy when adoring Jesus in the chapel. And yes...I know..it is JESUS...it should not matter where He is. If you told me that Chip and Joanna Gaines were in the chapel, I would totally run there with no questions. But Jesus? Adoration? I want more space. I want to be able to ugly cry without feeling like I am doing it on my neighbor's lap. I want to NOT hear you whisper your prayers. Sorry. It is the truth.

So you know what I did? I didn't go in.

I went into the church, instead.

I told myself, "close enough."

And while the chapel was crammed with people adoring Jesus who was right there before them, I fell into a puddle at the foot of the altar, before the most beautiful statue of our Blessed Mother. I closed my eyes. I cried a lot. And I asked Mary to please let her Son know I was sorry for not approaching Him in the way that I wanted to...and I have no idea how long I was there like that...two minutes...two hours...hard to say. But when I opened my eyes....

the monstrance was there.

Behind Mary, in the center of the altar, while my eyes were shut, Jesus had been placed there.

And the whole time...crying...and despairing and asking for forgiveness that appeared to fall on deaf ears....HE WAS THERE. All I had to do was open my eyes and look up.

And it made me ponder...good grief, He IS there. Here. Everywhere. But I was grateful to Mary that in that moment, she got me...she recognized the pierced mama heart...she saw I was out of good wine...and she let her Son know. I didn't even have to move from my spot. Jesus came to me, met me where I was, looked lovingly at me and asked, "Why are you looking for me?"

Because my friends, it is not Jesus who is lost...it is us.

If you can't find Jesus today, go with Mary to His Father's house. Open your eyes and look up. Stop looking for Him and simply let Him find you.

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