When we love our neighbours, all things are possible.
I have been praying very much for those who are grieving. I pray especially for my dear friend, the grandmother (and family) of little Saint Baby Charbel, who entered into eternal glory on All Saints Day last year. How terrible is the burden of grief!
Yesterday, my dear friend told me that she is trying her best to move on, but her grief is holding her back.
It occurred to me that it is very human of us to believe that we are supposed to MOVE ON from grief – or that we are required to move on from anything in fact.
Perhaps – though it is tremendously painful to even contemplate – what God desires of us is not to MOVE ON and put things behind us, but to MOVE THROUGH as He did on His journey with the Cross?
We live in this Earthly world and think of things in terms of time. We factor in what we would like to accomplish by the time we are… We make plans and work hard and save our money and plan our holidays, and then… LIFE happens, or DEATH, or SICKNESS, or ACCIDENTS, or GRIEF, or LOSS, or a billion other things happen and all our plans disappear like dust.
All those plans, all that time, all that thinking – totally wasted.
Meanwhile, for those who grieve, time – which is generally so fleeting – appears to stand still. The days stretch out and they wait – sometimes breathlessly – for the moment of grief to pass…
At least, that is how I felt waiting for my moment of grief to pass after I lost my little baby before he was even born. But the moment never passed. I never moved on. And I never caught my breath…
And frankly… Why should I want to?
While I remember him, he lives on inside my soul and I have a relationship with him – why would I want to throw that away? He is very precious to me!
So, instead of moving on, I decided that I would move through…
Instead of trying to finish with the Cross, I carry it. Every. Single. Day.
I look only at the steps in front of my feet, because by walking in those steps, I tread on the footsteps of giants.
You see, ahead of me on the road are all the Saints – who endured fra more suffering than I to achieve their sanctification. Ahead of me on the road are all those whose crosses are heavier and more wearisome than mine.
Sometimes, as I walk along the road, looking downwards at my steps and matching my footprints to those greater ones ahead of me on the road, instead of seeing a footprint, I see a foot instead. Looking up when that happens, I will see a stranger – my neighbour –doubled over or collapsed into the dust, with their Cross lying heavily upon them.
And there – in that moment – I have such honour in resting my own Cross against ground, and sitting with them awhile, just until they are ready to resume their journey.
Then, when they are ready, I help them to hoist their burden back upon their back, and stay, watching them set off again ahead of me on the road and then, and only then, can I turn, and pick up my own Cross again.
There is something so strange that happens to me when this happens…
In that moment, after my neighbour has begun to move again, when I lift my own cross back up upon my back, I find its weight less bothersome. As I continue on the road, when I look up a little and ahead, watching my neighbour’s back to measure their burden and their strength, my own burden somehow seems less.
With hindsight – through prayer – it occurs to me that this is possibly the point of Christ’s second commandment to love our neighbour as ourself…
Because in helping them to lift their Cross, we help God – we touch the essence of our Beloved, Himself!
And in touching Him, we touch the Grace of that sustains us endlessly – even until the end of the world.
All we have to do is keep moving – quietly along the road…
Not moving ON, but moving THROUGH whatever journey God wishes to allow us to take on our path to sanctification.
And perhaps, if we can help a few of our neighbours to lift their burdens, our own will become light enough, that we shall dance – not walk – all the way to Calvary…
For with love for my neighbour, I stand on Holy Ground where everything is clear. Here. At the Foot of the Cross.