This article is reprinted from the December 2009 newsletter of the Lay Apostles of Jesus Christ the Returning King, and was written by Anne. When she spoke at my parish on Monday, this was one aspect of her talk that made a big impact on me.
An excerpt from Lessons in Love
"For the Lord takes delight in His people." (Psalms 149:4)
This is so apparent. Jesus experiences each of us as His closest family member. Jesus experiences us as lovable and filled with promise. The experience Jesus has of us is constant and consistent in that He does not check in with us once a week or once a day or even once an hour. The Lord has been with us in a continual and uninterrupted fashion. Jesus never takes His gaze off of us. Given that He has never been away from us and that He has never stopped considering us, and indeed that He created us, Jesus knows us better than anyone. Jesus knows exactly where we struggle. The Lord understands what we find confusing and where we need greater clarity.
Because His consideration of us has always been, Jesus understands any wounds we carry from our past and how we are living our life because of these wounds. If we are having difficulty as a reaction to woundedness, Our Lord is compassionate and seeks to heal us.
Jesus wants to heal us. Our healing is a process which Jesus undertakes personally. Jesus takes the project that is our healing very seriously. Yes, our emotional and spiritual healing is a deeply personal goal for Jesus.
Consider in silence that Jesus is with us now and has been with us for every single moment of our life. He has missed nothing. It is all there in His gaze. We must look at Jesus. We must return His gaze. What do we see in the eyes of our Savior?
There is complete acceptance and compassion in His gaze. We do not have to say one word. Jesus understands everything. His eyes are serious and filled with love for us.
Jesus does not condemn us. This does not come from our beloved Lord. Self condemnation is planted by Our Lord's enemy, who does not want us to accept the Lord's love and heal and then grow in love, taking our intended role in the family of God.
Jesus extends His mercy with the hope that we will understand that in all truth the Lord takes delight in His people.
As the Lord walks through our time on earth with us, His experience of us changes as we change. During some periods, the heart of Jesus is safe with us because we are at peace as a child of God. At other times, there is rebellion and Jesus is hurt by our anger and sinfulness. Does He turn away from us when we hurt Him? Does His heart harden against us?
Consider the love we have for a small child who misbehaves because he is overtired or over-stimulated or who has been hurt by a sibling and who then strikes back in outrage. A parent sighs when a child retaliates against another because of anger. Often a parent must lift a kicking and screaming child into his arms and remove him from a situation that has gone wrong and that shows no hope for improvement. Jesus views our periods of sinfulness in this way. Because He has been with us through each experience, He knows why we behaved badly, if in fact we behaved badly. Our past sins are not viewed as isolated acts but as sins which are often understandable when connected to our pain. Jesus is not harsh. Jesus sees a bad phase for what it is and urges us out of these troubled times. Jesus forgets the past in the interest of the present and the future. We must give Jesus our past and let Him erase our mistakes so that we can rejoice in the present, where Jesus loves us completely.
We must offer ourselves as a safe place for God. Let God look at us and say, Yes, I can count on this apostle to help Me. Jesus offers us gifts of forgiveness and healing but we must accept these gifts. Let others continue on the path of rebellion and confusion. We will turn sharply now, at this moment, and walk into the Lord's heart completely, where there is mercy and healing. This is the only way for us if we desire heaven. Jesus will take us to His Father and say, Look, Father, there is love for Me on earth. I am welcome in the soul of this apostle.
This is the right way for us. We must turn away from the world and its shame and walk with Jesus.