My husband used to travel regularly for work. He always carries around a big smile and a funny story to share, so after a few weeks of returning to the same hotel, the staff would come to know him and appreciate him. They would give him extra cookies, a ticket to a show, or some other perk.
One week, as he approached the counter to check in, the staff member had a big surprise for him. The presidential suite was available, and they could upgrade his stay for one night. He happily accepted and took the elevator key, as the floor was only accessible to those with VIP access.
The following day, before going to work, he stopped to return the key, and the staff member excitedly asked him, “So, what did you think?” To which my husband replied, “It was ok.”
Seeing the confounded look upon the other guy’s face, he added, “Don’t get me wrong…it was really nice. But I just don’t get what the big deal is about.” The guy jumped out from behind the counter… “You must have stayed in the wrong room. Come, show me where you stayed.”
They both went on the elevator and walked to the door of the presidential suite. “This is it,” my husband said, and he opened the door. They walked into a beautiful suite with a large bathroom, a plush bed, a kitchenette, and a small den. The employee looked at him and said, “Is this where you slept? This is just the butler’s room!”
He proceeded to open another door that led to a large dining room with seating for twelve. A hallway then led to an oversized living room with an incredible view. A set of double doors opened to the opulent master bedroom and bathroom, with a two-person jetted jacuzzi and a separate shower. There was still more, but you get the idea… this was the actual presidential suite.
My husband laughed and said, “Oh…now I get what the big deal is… I didn’t know what I had missed.”
This story came to mind as I was praying this morning and felt God calling me to a deep place of communion in my heart. After a few days of feeling scattered and battered, I felt a deep sense of peace within me. And in my mind’s eye, I saw my inner room, a place God had prepared from the moment He created me. He has been there, with me, ever since. I understood that evil had no access to this place, that nothing could come in and separate me from Him.
But I also realized that I spent too much of my time in the outer areas of my heart, in the parts of myself that still need to be reconciled to Christ. Those areas that are hurt and broken, where sin still dwells within.
When I am in these rooms, I might be fooled into thinking they are nice… good enough. Like my husband in the butler’s room, I learn to live with the din of the world and do not realize there is a better way to live. But God is always calling, inviting me to renounce sin and go within.
Why does He want me to renounce sin? Because He made me for Himself.
Every area of my life where I am attached to sin is an area where I am not free.
He wants me to be healed, free… free to receive His love so that I can then reflect His love onto others. From this place of deep communion with Him, I can then share with my brothers and sisters what He has done for me.
Like the staff member who showed my husband the way to the actual presidential suite, I can then help the ones who are lonely and seeking by saying, “This is the way… you already have the key.”
All they have to do is answer the One calling them within.
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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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