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Looking through the wounds of Christ

Hands of Proof - artist Hyatt Moore
I enjoyed lunch with a friend yesterday. I've known her and her husband for some years, and they are both delightful people. However, we rarely see each other, as he is busy with his ministry and teaching, and they live quite a distance. However, they are in Grand Rapids this week, and she reached out to me: Would you like to have lunch? And I did!

In the course of conversation, we spoke of our children - who are all adults now, but our children, nonetheless. My children have had many challenges, and she shared that their youngest was also an addict. They tried all the things you're "supposed" to do, but eventually just had to tell him to leave the house. He chose a treatment facility, and since then has lived what his mother calls a "vagabond life." They occasionally get a phone call, a text, and email. That's it.

Is he clean? They don't know. Is he where he says he is? Shrug.

Then she said a remarkable thing: "I learned that I have to look at him through the wounds of Christ." She held up her hand, indicating the nail hole, and said, "I just have to look at him through this wound."

Well, yes.

We have so many hurts and burdens we carry. We think we have so much to do in order to make the situation right and whole. We scurry and pray, jump on the internet to seek out words of wisdom and the best treatment money can buy, but - in the end - we really don't have a job to do. We've prayed, we've given it to God. And God doesn't need our help.

But as mothers, we so, so want to make things right. We fret over every word said, over years of friction. What did I do wrong? I should have done this or that.

But it is in God's hands now. He doesn't need our help.

What we can do is to look at these hurts and burdens, these people we love, these old hurts through the wounds of Christ. Those wounds make all things whole. Those wounds hold all our wounds lovingly, carefully.  Upon seeing with and through these wounds, we can glimpse how God sees us: with great love, with great compassion, with great understanding.

Catholics have a long-held devotion to the wounds of Christ, with many prayers associated with this:

Holy wound of the right hand of my Jesus, I adore Thee; I compassionate Thee, O Jesus, for the most bitter pain which Thou didst suffer. I thank Thee for Thy graces lavished on me with such love, in spite of all my most perverse obstinacy. I offer to the Eternal Father all the pain and love of Thy most holy humanity; and I pray Thee to change my heart and its affections, and make me do all my actions in accordance with the will of God.
When we are tempted to fret, to mull and worry, to cry out - we must stop. We must look at this situation through the wounds of Christ, and let Him do the work allotted to Him. We have done our work; it is now in His hands - His wounded, tender, most capable hands.

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