Reflections are a funny thing.
Do you remember the first time you lied down at the edge of the lake or a pond, belly on the cold grass, feet waving in the air, and stared into the water at your reflection? As you peered over the edge of the land and gazed into the water, you studied your face: your eyes, your nose, your lips. You noticed something, perhaps, you hadn't noticed before. As you studied the reflection, you may or may not have liked what you saw but what you saw was (is) reality. And then something disturbed the water and the image you once saw was now distorted. It was no longer what it was when first you looked and likely not what you wanted it to be. Or perhaps it was a welcome relief...
I had a lot of time to think this Lent - to really explore the depths of my person and discover who I am and who I am not. The water for me was the Water of Life. It was He who came to me and asked me to look to Him to see myself. I did not want to look over the edge. I didn't want to know what I looked like. I was okay with only kinda knowing. I'd caught a glimpse here and there and had a general idea of who I was. I knew it would be hard to really study the Water and see myself so clearly and because I knew, I was quite apprehensive.
Slowly I approached. Slowly. Slowly... and there He waited, as He has waited for so long, until I finally reached the edge and stuck my head out over it.
It was certainly a season of much growth and with that growth came growing pains. But praise God! Those growing pains are exactly what I needed this year and we all know He knew it all along. He knew what splinters I needed to feel and which burdens needed to be my cross. Through feeling those splinters and bearing those crosses I learned to see myself not in a good light or a bad light, but in a pure light.
As the days and weeks passed and I struggled with how to struggle, I ran constantly to the Blessed Sacrament. "Here I am, Lord. I'm here for YOU. Yes, I ran here in frustration, in anger, in sorrow, but I ran here because the answer to all of my troubles is YOU. I need YOU. Help me to see your face..."
Holiness became flesh that I might have eternal life. He did it for me. For ME. He came down to the world and, despite the number of followers He attracted, he was always alone -- alone to suffer for me. He endured many trials here and suffered pains unimaginable to save me. To save you. To save us all.
"Lord," I would say, "grant me the humility to see me for what I am and what I am not. Help me to know and understand my failings and help me to know and understand that those failings crucified you."
Ask and you shall receive.
What could have become an incredibly depressing and hopeless time, by the grace of God, proved to be one of the most rewarding and uplifting experiences of my life. I saw clearly for the first time what I had needed to see for a very long time. And certainly it was not God wishing to withhold these understandings! It was me that refused to be given them. I was rewarded greatly, however, for finally having the courage to lay it all at His feet.
Studying Him, coming to know Him better, I learned to know myself better. I learned to see myself in what I am called to be and in what I live each day. How very different the two reflections felt at times! But I am at peace with my reflection only because I know that no matter how many times I create ripples in the water, the reality of what I see when the water is still is the same as the reality of what I see when it is being shaken. At my core I am still the child of God. At my core I am still an honest, loving, gentle person. Ripples will come and go. And as those ripples come and go, I am called to remain there and glean from the Water of Life what it is I am, who it is I am, and what and who it is I am called to be.Forgive me. I know this makes little sense outside of my head. So much goes on up there. Most of the time I can't keep up. Now I'm much too tired to keep writing... perhaps there will be more later...