I am learning to identify and make friends with my mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual wounds. Although some are still open, these wounds are proof of my ability to survive, begin the work of healing, and live again. They teach me compassion, too, by opening my eyes and heart to recognize the wounds of others.
Today I pray for the grace to be gentle with wounded humanity. May I be willing to reach out to touch God’s holy Spirit in each of us.
Then [Jesus] said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe.” John 20:27
Today I feel the need for a light touch, a dash of comfort, a grain of healing. If I am feeling this way, perhaps others are too. May I be graced with the goodness to offer compassion to each member of our human family.
Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness. Psalm 51:3
It is my hope that God’s grace is driving greed, self-righteousness, and indifference to the suffering of others out of my mind and heart. I would like to be cleansed of all that prevents me from loving God, my neighbor, and myself.
[Jesus] drove them all out of the temple area… John 2:15b
Linda McCray Transfiguration acrylic & sand from the River Jordan on floating wood panel
The outward transfiguration of Jesus calls me to an inward transfiguration that leads me to listen more carefully to God’s Word.
Perhaps my most difficult daily challenge is to hear and carry out Jesus’ command to love each member of the human family—my neighbor. To be an authentic follower of Jesus, I must practice forgiveness, reconciliation, compassion, and nonviolence towards all people, not just those who please me.
Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over [Peter, James, and John]; from the cloud came a voice, “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.” Mark 9:7
This is my temptation: to let the violence, tragedies, and selfishness in the world frighten me so that I forget my birthright as a beloved child of God and become distracted from participating in God’s work of reconciliation, forgiveness, and compassion. I am tempted to believe my small efforts to pray, be kind, and comfort the suffering are not a part of the solution to the world’s problems.
Along with the wild beasts and demons in my desert today, there are also angels to care for me. I need not make an idol of fear. I am reassured that I have a part to play in making God’s vision of love and unity a reality.
The Spirit drove Jesus out into the desert, and he remained in the desert for forty days, tempted by Satan. He was among wild beasts, and the angels ministered to him. Mark 1:12
Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669) Jesus heals a leper Pen and ink drawing, c. 1650-1655 Amsterdam, Rijksprentenkabinet
So much conspires to tell me I am an outcast in this society: unemployment, chronic headaches, overwhelming fatigue, and the ever-accelerating pace and stress of modern life when what I crave is time—time to go slowly, to rest, listen, and discern God’s will for me.
When I become aware that I am feeling ashamed of who I am, I pray to be reunited with the unconditional love and compassion that is my birthright. The Lord is always willing to touch me and make me whole again.
A leper came to Jesus and kneeling down begged him and said, “If you wish, you can make me clean.” Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand, touched him, and said to him, “I do will it. Be made clean.”