Most of you already know that I had two procedures done on my body in the last month. Two simple procedures became much more complicated than they were meant to be. It is difficult to accept, but that was the road that lay before me and walking it was not optional. Now, for the last few weeks, my life has been all about “recovery,” mostly laying in bed, tired all the time, forcing myself to walk a little, eat without appetite and drink without thirst. I had to take medications at rigorously scheduled intervals with accurate tracking, only taking what was necessary to take the edge of the pain. And all that, as annoying as it sounds, is all grace. I have had so many experiences of His grace that it is truly humbling; let me share this one with you.
It was really early in the morning, probably around 5 am. I was in bed, half-asleep and in pain. I was half-praying and half-watching the TV. (It is funny, but there is a lot of half-whatever going on all the time in recovery). The TV show I was watching was some Industrial designer person talking about fixing a broken piece by using glue. “These two pieces are meant to be together; if we use the correct glue, it will truly repair the damage and be as strong as when it was new. The key to doing this is to use the correct glue; then, the hard part comes… You have to just let the glue dry.”
“Just let the glue dry.” As soon as I heard this, I broke down in tears... What binds us to Christ? We want to be one with Him, but what can we do to be with Him in this “valley of tears”? We have to suffer gladly. We have to accept His will for us, even when it means pain, even when we do not know how long it will take.
Here I am, a little broken and yet a little mended, and I have the opportunity now to accept these little pains with as much love as I can muster so that they can be used to unite myself to Christ. That love and that acceptance of the reality of life, that desire to be like Christ in this present moment, is the glue that can fix us and restore us to greater strength than we had initially. This gets us closer to the exemplary figure of Jesus. So we ask God to heal us, to fix us this way. So how do we do this? Here is one way.
Laying in bed, I remembered all the people, valiant souls, that I have prayed for over the years. Young ones battling cancer, older ones close to death, middle-aged ones having surgery... I remembered the ones who were alone in a hospital because of COVID restrictions and the few who passed suddenly and without warning. All these are still happening to our people, our loved ones, some of them strangers, but loved nonetheless; that gives meaning to our little sufferings. Thinking of them, we propose to our Lord that He may accept our little offerings… the uncomfortable times, the painful moments, the selfless thoughts… the humble realization of our littleness, and unite them to His suffering on the Cross… that it may help atone even a little for our faults and those of anyone suffering and in need.
I have come to accept that our little suffering has to be attached to that of Christ. Our love, consideration, and prayers are the correct glue. Now we must grow in patience and just let the glue dry.
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We are Ivonne J. Hernandez, Rick Hernandez and Laura Worhacz, Lay Associates of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament, and brothers and sisters in Christ.
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